rm -rf and fat fingers

Glen Barber glen.j.barber at gmail.com
Thu Jul 23 00:29:41 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 8:18 PM, Jimmie James<jimmiejaz at gmail.com> wrote:
> So here I was, half asleep, removing some old directories as root, and
> here's what I did...sitting in /home/jimmie after su
> jimmie at jimmiejaz <101> [0] /home/jimmie#rm -rf cd /usr/local/lib   (note the
> space, the PWD is home/jimmie/)
> Now, a lot of libs went missing from /usr/local/lib. With libchk, last
> locatedb I've been able to reinstall most of the libs.
> My ~/ *seems* unaffected, but I'm worried about that, I don't notice
> anything missing, but I could be wrong.
> What I'm thinking is the rm -rf found no 'cd' and moved to wipe out
> /usr/local/lib  Would this be a correct assumption?

Yes, this is correct.  Similarly, if you were to:

rm -rf .mozilla /usr/local/lib

It would remove your $HOME/.mozilla (assuming you were in $HOME) as
well as /usr/local/llib.  Your $HOME directory *should* be fine.
Unless you had a 'cd' directory, of course. ;)

Glen Barber

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