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Previous: 23.2 rm and Its Dangers Chapter 23
Removing Files
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23.3 Tricks for Making rm Safer

Here's a summary of ways to protect yourself from accidentally deleting files:

  • Use rm -i , possibly as an alias (articles 21.11 possibly and 23.7 ).

  • Make rm -i less painful (article 23.6 ).

  • Write a "delete" script that moves "deleted" files to a temporary directory (article 23.8 ).

  • tcsh ( 8.3 ) has an rmstar variable that makes the shell ask for confirmation when you type something like rm * .

  • Use a more comprehensive "safe delete" program, like the one described in article 23.9 .

  • Use revision control (article 20.12 ).

  • Make your own backups, as explained in article 20.2 .

  • Prevent deletion (or renaming or creating) of files by making the directory (not necessarily the files in it!) unwritable. Article 22.2 .

If you want to delete with wild abandon, use rm -f (article 23.10 ).

- ML


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