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Deleting files with preserving directories

  1. Dec 17, 2007 #1
    Dear Forumers,

    Simple problem: I have a nice directory structure on my PC (Linux). I would like to clean it, I mean to delete all the files within the directory structure, but I don't want to loose my directories.
    Is there any simple solution for it? Some unix commands?
    Thank you so much in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2007 #2
    Solution. . ?

    After some "googling":

    find /path/to/interest/ -type f -exec echo rm "{}" \;

    .. and if you find everything allright, then just remove echo from the command line:

    find /path/to/interest/ -type f -exec rm "{}" \;

    Take care! rm can do a lot of harm!

    Source is here: http://forums.macosxhints.com/archive/index.php/t-20717.html

    Comments are highly appreciated,

    T. the M.
  4. Dec 17, 2007 #3

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    One comment:

    Do you understand symbolic links?

    If you do that and there are links in the /path/of/interest or say in /home/telmerk, then you've just broken the link when it points to one of the deleted files.

    That kind of thing okay on say/tmp or /var/tmp, but you might want to make it something
    that cleans up old files rather than nukes everything:

    Code (Text):

    find /tmp -type f -mtime +2 -exec rm -f {} \;
    Place that in crontab and run it every day. Another appraoch is to list really large files and email it to yourself once a day, or once a week:

    Code (Text):

    for path in /tmp /var/tmp /someplace /anotherplace
         find $path -type f -size +10000 -exec ls -l {} \;
    done | mailx -s "really big files"  somebody@someplace.com
  5. Dec 18, 2007 #4
    Dear Mr. McNamara,

    Thank you for the comments! Basically my plan was to save my old files onto a DVD. After this I would like to delete them, but leaving the directory structure untouched. I have some symlinks that may cause problems. . . :uhh:

    Kindest regards & merry christmas,
    T. the M.
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