What's this?

commandlinefu.com is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again.

Delete that bloated snippets file you've been using and share your personal repository with the world. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

If you have a new feature suggestion or find a bug, please get in touch via http://commandlinefu.uservoice.com/

Get involved!

You can sign-in using OpenID credentials, or register a traditional username and password.

First-time OpenID users will be automatically assigned a username which can be changed after signing in.

Universal configuration monitoring and system of record for IT.

Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.

» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu3
» http://twitter.com/commandlinefu10

Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for:



May 19, 2015 - A Look At The New Commandlinefu
I've put together a short writeup on what kind of newness you can expect from the next iteration of clfu. Check it out here.
March 2, 2015 - New Management
I'm Jon, I'll be maintaining and improving clfu. Thanks to David for building such a great resource!

Top Tags



Remove all but one specific file

Terminal - Remove all but one specific file
rm -f !(survivior.txt)
2010-09-26 04:50:55
User: RanyAlbeg
Functions: rm
Remove all but one specific file


There are 3 alternatives - vote for the best!

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

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

find . ! -name <FILENAME> -delete
2010-01-13 23:29:51
User: haplo
Functions: find
Tags: files rm

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

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

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)

find . -type f ! -name "*.foo" -name "*.bar" -delete
2010-10-07 20:17:38
User: sh1mmer
Functions: find

This command is recursive and will delete in all directories in ".". It will find and delete all files not specified with ! -name "pattern". In this case it's file extensions. -type f means it will only find files and not directories. Finally the -delete flag ask find to delete what it matches. You can test the command by running it first without delete and it will list the files it will delete when you run it.

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

Thx! Usual I done it with

find . ! -name ...

Nice tip.

Comment by bogomips 280 weeks and 5 days ago

Humph? It does not work in Z-Shell neither in BASH. Am I doing something wrong?

Comment by Minoru 280 weeks and 5 days ago

Got it working in BASH. It's all about 'extglob' option???set it:

shopt -s extglob

and command would work.

Still looking for solution for ZSH.

Comment by Minoru 280 weeks and 5 days ago

For zsh rm -f ^survivior.txt will do but it requires extended_glob

Comment by RanyAlbeg 280 weeks and 4 days ago

Thanks, RanyAlbeg. That really works!

Comment by Minoru 280 weeks and 4 days ago

You welcome ;)

Comment by RanyAlbeg 280 weeks and 4 days ago

I never feel comfortable specifying the file I want to keep in an rm command.

Comment by matthewdavis 280 weeks and 3 days ago

Use backups a few times and then you'll get used to it.

Comment by RanyAlbeg 265 weeks and 2 days ago

As has been noted zsh uses "^" as the 'not' and while the use of 'not' for a none interactive rm may be potencially dangerious, the 'not' is not :)

Some examples:

ls *^.jpg

ls *[^$(date +%F)].*

Comment by khayyam 150 weeks and 6 days ago

Your point of view

You must be signed in to comment.