How to delete directories and files with xargs?


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# 8  
Hello,

thanks

but no the two command didn't work .

The first one give an error : rm: missing operand

The second command didn't nothing but no error

Ok thanks
# 9  
Thank you for running those.
Quote:
The first one give an error : rm: missing operand
That's an indication that find is not passing any findings to xargs to execute.

Does find /usr/IBM/HTTPServer/apache_cache/ -type f -mtime +1 alone produce any output?
# 10  
Hello,


yes i have an output of lot of files.

but i need also to delete dire tories that are older than one day.
That is no optimize the inodes for the disk

Thanks
# 11  
Quote:
Originally Posted by steiner
Code:
find /usr/IBM/HTTPServer/apache_cache/ -type f -mtime +1 -exec rm {} \;

is ok i used it before but our Customer said us to use xargs because it's more efficient and quicker.
Your original post uses find -print0 and xargs -0. Is your customer using a GNU userland? If not, those extensions are probably not supported. If they are using a GNU userland and if that's all that needs to be supported, then Don Cragun already gave you the answer.

Why is your customer dictating to you how to solve a problem? I'm inclined to think that they should dismiss you if they know more than you.

Regards,
Alister
# 12  
Quote:
Originally Posted by alister
Your original post uses find -print0 and xargs -0. Is your customer using a GNU userland? If not, those extensions are probably not supported. If they are using a GNU userland and if that's all that needs to be supported, then Don Cragun already gave you the answer.

... ... ...

Regards,
Alister
The + terminator for find -exec is not a GNU userland extension; it has been required by the standards since 1991.

Note, however, that the command I suggested only removes the regular files; not empty directories. The original code in the OP's script:
Code:
find /usr/IBM/HTTPServer/apache_cache/ -name '*' -mtime +1 -print0|xargs -0 rm -r --

which would more efficiently be written as:
Code:
find /usr/IBM/HTTPServer/apache_cache/ -mtime +1 -exec rm -r -- {} +

attempts to remove directories and all of their contents and then to remove some of the files in those directories after they have already been removed while removing their parent directory recursively. Furthermore, if a directory hasn't changed in a day, but files in one or more of it subdirectories changed in the last hour, those directories and the new files in them will also be removed.
A safer way to do it would be a two step process: remove the old regular files in the 1st step and then remove old directories in the 2nd step:
Code:
find /usr/IBM/HTTPServer/apache_cache/ -type f -mtime +1 -exec rm -- {} +
find /usr/IBM/HTTPServer/apache_cache/ -type d -mtime +1 -exec rmdir -- {} +

Using rmdir instead of rm -r guarantees that you won't remove new files accidentally, but you might get error messages trying to remove directories that aren't empty. If that is a concern, you could redirect stderr from the 2nd find. This method will keep directories that have been emptied by the 1st find around for an extra day (since the directory timestamps will be updated when the regular files in them are removed), but they will be cleaned up one day later if they are then empty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aia
Thank you for running those.

That's an indication that find is not passing any findings to xargs to execute.

... ... ...
No, it isn't. If no filenames were passed through the pipe to xargs, xargs should not exec rm. Something else is going on here, but it isn't clear to me what.
# 13  
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Cragun
No, it isn't. If no filenames were passed through the pipe to xargs, xargs should not exec rm. Something else is going on here, but it isn't clear to me what.
Really?
Code:
[aia@arrow many]$ ls -l
total 0
[aia@arrow many]$ 
[aia@arrow many]$ find . -name "do_not_exit" -print0 | xargs rm
rm: missing operand
Try 'rm --help' for more information.
[aia@arrow many]$ find . -name "do_not_exit" -print0 | xargs

[aia@arrow many]$ find . -name "do_not_exit" -print0
[aia@arrow many]$

# 14  
Interesting. The standards don't include the -print0 primary for find nor the -0 option for xargs. But, in a directory with the following files:
Code:
file
problem
test
tester

The following session using ksh on Mac OS X:
Code:
$ find  . -name 'nothing' -print0 |xargs -0 echo xx
$ find  . -name 'nothing' |xargs  echo xx          
$ find  . -name '*r' |xargs  echo xx     
xx ./tester
$ find  . -name '*r' -print0 |xargs -0 echo xx     
xx ./tester
$

shows the behavior required by the standards when -print0 and -0 are not used (i.e., no files read by xargs from stdin; no invocations of the specified command). I don't see any reason why the behavior should be different when those options are used; and, at least on Mac OS X, the behavior is the same.
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