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14.19. Using find to Clear Out Unneeded Files

Do you run find on your machine every night? Do you know what it has to go through just to find out if a file is three days old and smaller than ten blocks or owned by "fred" or setuid root? This is why I tried to combine all the things we need done for removal of files into one big find script:

Figure Go to http://examples.oreilly.com/upt3 for more information on: cleanup

2>&1 Section 36.16

#! /bin/sh
# cleanup - find files that should be removed and clean them
# out of the file system.

find / \(    \( -name '#*'                 -atime +1 \)  \
        -o   \( -name ',*'                 -atime +1 \)  \
        -o   \( -name rogue.sav            -atime +7 \)  \
        -o   \(      \( -name '*.bak'                    \
                     -o -name '*.dvi'                    \
                     -o -name '*.CKP'                    \
                     -o -name '.*.bak'                   \
                     -o -name '.*.CKP' \)  -atime +3 \)  \
        -o   \( -name '.emacs_[0-9]*'      -atime +7 \)  \
        -o   \( -name core                           \)  \
        -o   \( -user guest                -atime +9 \)  \
\) -print -exec rm -f {} \; > /tmp/.cleanup 2>&1

This is an example of using a single find command to search for files with different names and last-access times (see Section 9.5). Doing it all with one find is much faster -- and less work for the disk -- than running a lot of separate finds. The parentheses group each part of the expression. The neat indentation makes this big thing easier to read. The -print -exec at the end removes each file and also writes the filenames to standard output, where they're collected into a file named /tmp/.cleanup -- people can read it to see what files were removed. You should probably be aware that printing the names to /tmp/.cleanup lets everyone see pathnames, such as /home/joe/personal/resume.bak, which some people might consider sensitive. Another thing to be aware of is that this find command starts at the root directory; you can do the same thing for your own directories.

--CT and JP

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