rm -rf and fat fingers

Rolf G Nielsen listreader at lazlarlyricon.com
Thu Jul 23 02:24:52 UTC 2009

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.


Rolf Nielsen

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