Cannot delete stubborn files

Bill Moran wmoran at
Sun Jun 4 11:40:24 PDT 2006

"Jack Stone" <antennex at> wrote:

> >From: Chris Hill <chris at>
> >To: Jack Stone <antennex at>
> >CC: freebsd-questions at
> >Subject: Re: Cannot delete stubborn files
> >Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2006 09:39:51 -0400 (EDT)
> >
> >On Sun, 4 Jun 2006, Jack Stone wrote:
> >
> >>I have 2 files that resists all efforts to delete them.
> >
> >[...]
> >
> >>Here are the files and the error message:
> >>rm: local/lib/perl5/5.6.1/mach/Sys/ Operation not permitted
> >>rm: local/lib/perl5/5.6.1/mach/Sys/ Operation not permitted
> >
> >Make sure the files do not have the system immutable flag set:
> >
> ># chflags noschg local/lib/perl5/5.6.1/mach/Sys/
> ># chflags noschg local/lib/perl5/5.6.1/mach/Sys/
> >
> >...and then see if you can't delete them. I don't know why the flag would 
> >be set, but it's something to try.
> >
> >HTH.
> >
> >--
> >Chris Hill               chris at
> Chris: Tried that at the very first. No joy!

If flags and permissions are all set so that the files should delete, and
they still don't, reboot the system into single user mode and fsck the

I had this happen a number of years ago.  We had dirty power and the system
would reboot on occasion during brownout.  We finally got UPS on the system,
but months later we had files that wouldn't delete.  The only way we finally
got rid of them was to reboot in single user and fsck.  I expect the disk
suffered some subtle corruption during an unclean boot and it took time
before we noticed.

Another option would be to use fstat to make sure nothing has the files open.


Bill Moran

Six men came to kill me one time, and the best of them carried this. It's
a Callahan fullbore autolock, customized trigger and double cartridge
thourough-gage.  It's my very favorite gun.

	Jayne Cobb

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