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Optimal way of deleting huge numbers of files

Terminal - Optimal way of deleting huge numbers of files
find /path/to/dir -type f -delete
2009-12-09 01:30:52
User: SlimG
Functions: find
Optimal way of deleting huge numbers of files

Optimal way of deleting huge numbers of files

Using -delete is faster than:

find /path/to/dir -type f -print0 | xargs -0 rm find /path/to/dir -type f -exec rm {} + find /path/to/dir -type f -exec rm \-f {} \;


There is 1 alternative - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
find /path/to/dir -type f -print0 | xargs -0 rm
2009-01-26 11:30:47
User: root
Functions: find xargs

Using xargs is better than:

find /path/to/dir -type f -exec rm \-f {} \;

as the -exec switch uses a separate process for each remove. xargs splits the streamed files into more managable subsets so less processes are required.

find /path/to/dir/ -type f -exec rm {} +

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

What is non-optimal about

cd /path/to/dir; rm -rf ./*

? If you don't want --force, leave off the -f.

Comment by bwoodacre 311 weeks and 4 days ago

It's slower

Comment by SlimG 311 weeks and 4 days ago
cd /path/to/dir; rm ./*

is the same as:

rm /path/to/dir/*

and has the same drawback: it will fail with "too many arguments" if there is a very large number of files.


The -delete option to find is non-standard.

Comment by cfajohnson 311 weeks and 3 days ago

The "very large number of files" problem is easily avoided with

cd /path/to/dir/.. ; rm -rf dir

certainly the shell-expansion thing could be avoided by calling rm like this, but why is find faster? Is it skipping checks that rm does?

Comment by bwoodacre 311 weeks and 3 days ago

Your point of view

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