undo rm -rf *

Matthew Saltzman mjs at clemson.edu
Tue Mar 26 17:03:13 UTC 2013


On Tue, 2013-03-26 at 17:21 +0100, Reindl Harald wrote: 
> 
> Am 26.03.2013 17:16, schrieb Bruno Wolff III:
> > On Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 03:11:54 +1100,
> >   Celik <celik.n.00 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> Bruno, after such an experience, did you come up with an alternative
> >> solution to using "rm -rf"?
> >> "rm -i" is good as it prompts before deletion however it becomes tedious if
> >> there are a lot of files to be deleted, hence "rm -rf" seems ideal but
> >> dangerous if not cautious :(
> >> Had a look on google, there was one particular recommendation that caught
> >> me attention (sorry I don't have the link). It was recommended to mv the
> >> files (and/or folders) to be deleted into a tmp directory. I'm planning to
> >> try that in my future code, we'll see how things go.
> > 
> > Try to be more careful, especially when there is an asterisk involved. And I keep in mind about '..', so no
> > deleting '.*'
> 
> and how yoill you remove all hidden files of a folder?

rm -rf .??*

This would miss files with only one character after the dot in the name,
like .a, but those can be handled explicitly with less trouble than
recovering from mistakenly deleting the contents of the parent
directory.

> this is safe since a very long time
> 
> [root at testserver:/tmp]$ LANG=c; /usr/bin/rm -rf .*
> /usr/bin/rm: cannot remove directory: '.'
> /usr/bin/rm: cannot remove directory: '..'

Does this not depend on where in the tree you are and what permissions
you have on . and ..?

> 
> 
> 

-- 
Matthew Saltzman
Clemson University Math Sciences
mjs AT clemson DOT edu



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