Find and delete oldest file of specific types in directory tree

find / \( -name "*.log" -o -name "*.mylogs" \) -exec ls -lrt {} \; | sort -k6,8 | head -n1 | cut -d" " -f8- | tr -d '\n' | xargs -0 rm
This works on my ubuntu/debian machines. I suspect other distros need some tweaking of sort and cut. I am sure someone could provide a shorter/faster version.

1
By: ghazz
2009-05-10 10:45:48

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What Others Think

This command simply does not work (as expected) for several reasons. Foremost is that it tries to remove a file without the full path specified: "ls -lrt" lists several files without the complete path. Also it's NEVER a good idea to execute some-internet-command that deletes files without thoroughly testing it first.
weldabar · 358 weeks and 5 days ago
well, the ls -lrt is only used to find the size, the previous find is used to find the paths. I sort of expect you didn't even try the command... If you want to test it before you use it, change the "rm" to "echo" What are the other errors? Seeing as I use this command on multiple machines it would be nice if you were more specific :/ I tested it while i made it, please show me a better way if one exists...
ghazz · 349 weeks and 3 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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