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Remove everything except that file

Terminal - Remove everything except that file
ls | egrep -v "[REGULAR EXPRESSION]" | xargs rm -v
2010-04-01 02:40:40
User: Saxphile
Functions: egrep ls rm xargs
-1
Remove everything except that file

This is a slight variation of an existing submission, but uses regular expression to look for files instead. This makes it vastly more versatile, and one can easily verify the files to be kept by running ls | egrep "[REGULAR EXPRESSION]"

Alternatives

There are 10 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives
rm !(*.foo|*.bar|*.baz)
2010-04-13 15:13:54
User: hutch
Functions: rm
72

Deletes all files in a folder that are NOT *.foo, *.bar or *.baz files. Edit the pattern inside the brackets as you like.

rm -f !(survivior.txt)
find . ! -name <FILENAME> -delete
2010-01-13 23:29:51
User: haplo
Functions: find
Tags: files rm
8

it will remove everything except the file names matching you can use also use wildcards

( shopt -s extglob; rm !(<PATTERN>) )
2010-01-13 16:43:15
User: sputnick
Functions: rm
Tags: files rm glob shopt
7

Remove everything except that file with shell tricks inside a subshell to avoid changes in the environment.

help shopt
rm !(file_to_keep_undeleted)
2010-12-15 13:31:06
User: strzel_a
Functions: rm
6

Go to tmp :

cd /tmp; mkdir retmp; cd retmp

Create 10 files :

for i in {1..10}; do touch test$i; done

Remove all files except test10 :

rm !(test10)

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

In zsh, this is easy:

rm ^filename

the caret indicates logical negation. That is my second favorite feature of zsh. The first is the ability to share history between running shell instances, and not have them clobber each other when exiting. (I'm pretty sure bash doesn't do this.)

Comment by bwoodacre 224 weeks and 5 days ago

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