Delete all files more t han 7 days old

rm -rf `find -maxdepth 1 -mindepth 1 -mtime +7`
This is useful for command line 'recycle bins' and such like

-4
By: tatwright
2009-05-22 11:46:57
rm

These Might Interest You

What Others Think

You could get the "arg list too long error". Use this instead: find -maxdepth 1 -mindepth 1 -mtime +7 -exec rm -f {} + or find -maxdepth 1 -mindepth 1 -mtime +7 | xargs rm -f
sharfah · 473 weeks and 3 days ago
Quite true. Though this has never happened to me with bash on linux (only sh on windows). Also you'd need to have an awful lot of files in the top level of your tree...
tatwright · 473 weeks and 3 days ago
Oooo, dangerous. Never use "rm -rf" on unescaped command lines. If there's (ugh) spaces in filenames, catastrophic things can happen. A filename with a period surrounded by space ("foo .") deletes everything under the current directory. A filename with a tilde separated by spaces ("foo ~") nukes your home directory.
sunny256 · 473 weeks and 2 days ago
Well, the tilde example doesn't delete the home directory in _this_ case (as the tilde isn't expanded), but there are other combinations where it could happen. In fact, for this kind of use it's better to use tmpreaper(1). It is meant for this kind of use, and it checks the access time instead of the file modification time. Because a file isn't modified in a week or so, doesn't mean it isn't used by processes in a read-only way.
sunny256 · 473 weeks and 2 days ago
Forget about expansion, just use find's delete capability: find -mtime +7 -delete
bwoodacre · 473 weeks ago
@bwoodacre: does that delete dirs? and does it force delete (-f)?
sudopeople · 472 weeks and 6 days ago
About the "arg list too long error" : http://www.in-ulm.de/~mascheck/various/argmax/ it is quite safe since linux 2.6.23 as the arg list is valid till it doesn't fill the quarter of the stack.
log0 · 465 weeks and 4 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?

You must be signed in to comment.

What's this?

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

Share Your Commands



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: