[nycbug-talk] Deleting Lots of Files.

Marc Spitzer mspitzer at gmail.com
Wed Jun 21 15:11:22 EDT 2006

On 6/21/06, Hans Kaspersetz <lamolist at cyberxdesigns.com> wrote:
> I was wondering what the best way to delete lots of files is.  Here is
> my problem, I have a mail box directory with 55K files in it.  The file
> names are in the form:  1144126802.V411I59451aM517953.foo.com:2,  They
> are semi squential.
> I would like to delete all the files in the 114* series.  However, when
> I pass rm -f ./114*, I get to many arguments as an error.  What I really
> want to delete is all files from before June.

your problem is your shell has issues with long lists of files.

1: try a different shell
2: use a loop:
for i in $(ls |grep ^114) ; do
echo $i
rm $i

pipe the grep output through fmt, I prefer par,  to cut down on the
number of processes created  created if desired(remember to set IFS to
\n to make this work and then set it back)

3: use the ksh $( ) bits to set up an input stream instead of
expanding im place for input

xargs may give you the same line too long error, it has happened to me
on occasion, or it may work fine.  I had problems on solaris with it a
while ago.

you could also write a script.


> Ideas?
> Hans K
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