rm -rf and fat fingers

Jimmie James jimmiejaz at gmail.com
Thu Jul 23 02:15:20 UTC 2009

Rolf G Nielsen wrote:
> Jimmie James 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?
>> And yes, I sat in the stupid corner with the dunce hat on.
> Hi Jimmie,
> Out of curiousity, what were you trying to do when you issued that command?
> And this reminds me of an equally stupid thing I did a few years ago.
> I had a directories named share on three different partitions. These 
> were for files that I and my then current gf shared. At one point I 
> wanted to clean them all out, and issued this command:
> find -s / -type d -name share -exec rm -Rd {}/* \; -exec rm -Rd {}/.* \;
> Fortunately I had backups. And after that I renamed those share 
> directories to something else.
> And yes, I too sat in the stupid corner.

I messed up the JPEG update somehow, many ports were failing to build. 
Ran libchk and found some unused/need libraries, and directories, so I 
was going to rm them.
Typed in rm -rf, flipped to another terminal to gather my list, then 
thought it would be better if I was actually in /usr/local/lib so typed 
in cd /usr/local/lib without realizing I was in the terminal with rm -rf 
ready to go... I noticed as soon as I hit [enter] and was able to ^c it 
a few seconds later, but the damage was done.  Lack of coffee/beer and 
administration is a Bad Thing (tm).

Pure stupidity trying to rush to get the day started. Lesson learned.

Over the years I've come to regard you as people I've met.
I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other, and when I am 
alone I am together.

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