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Don Burleson Blog 







Removing UNIX files and directories - root, rm command, rmdir
Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting


Removing UNIX files and directories

UNIX provides the rm command for removing data files. Of course, the rm command can be very dangerous and most Oracle DBAs make an alias for rm, invoking the rm i option. The rm i option prompts you if you are certain that you want to remove the file:

root> alias rm='rm -i'
root> rm temp.lst

rm: remove temp.lst (yes/no)? y

While UNIX provides an rmdir command for removing directories, UNIX also provides the ability to remove entire directories by using the rm Rf command. The R option tells rm to recursively cascade through subdirectories and the f option says to force deletion, even if the permissions do not allow write access. In the example below, we see that the rm I alias warns us if we want to examine the files in the directory before removing them:

root> rm -Rf temp

rm: examine files in directory temp (yes/no)? no

Warning Dont ever try this

To demonstrate the horrible power of the rm command, the following command (when executed as root) will permanently remove all files on your entire server!

root> cd /
root> rm Rf *

The above is an excerpt from the "Oracle9i UNIX Administration Handbook" by Oracle press, authored by Donald K. Burleson.




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