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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 -exec rm {} +
2009-12-10 04:44:44
User: cfajohnson
Functions: find rm
3
Optimal way of deleting huge numbers of files

Alternatives

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
12

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 -delete
2009-12-09 01:30:52
User: SlimG
Functions: find
9

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 {} \;
rsync -a --delete empty-dir/ target-dir/
2016-06-07 16:56:55
User: malathion
Functions: rsync
Tags: delete rsync
8

This command works by rsyncing the target directory (containing the files you want to delete) with an empty directory. The '--delete' switch instructs rsync to remove files that are not present in the source directory. Since there are no files there, all the files will be deleted.

I'm not clear on why it's faster than 'find -delete', but it is.

Benchmarks here: https://web.archive.org/web/20130929001850/http://linuxnote.net/jianingy/en/linux/a-fast-way-to-remove-huge-number-of-files.html

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

So what's the difference between

-exec rm {} +

and

-exec rm {} \;

Comment by Rudolf 89 weeks and 5 days ago

Your point of view

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