By Using The Linux Command Line How To Safely Delete Files

Now you might be questioning that the whole point of deleting documents is to eliminate them so how safe can you be. Believe you completed


This guide will display you the way to competently delete documents from your device.

Now you might be questioning that the whole point of deleting documents is to eliminate them so how safe can you be. Believe you completed a command intended to put off all files from a specific folder and instead of deleting simply those documents it deleted all of the files inside the sub-folders as properly.

Which command ought to you operate to delete documents

There are a number of methods you can use to delete documents inside linux and in this manual i will display you two of them:

  • Rm
  • Trash-cli

The rm command

Most people tend to use the rm command while deleting documents and out of the 2 explained right here, this is the most brutal command. In case you delete a report the usage of the rm command it’s far very hard (despite the fact that not necessarily impossible) to get better that file.

The syntax of the rm command is as follows:

Rm /direction/to/document

You can also delete all of the files in a folder and sub folders as follows:

Rm -r /course/to/folder

As cited formerly the rm command is quite a great deal final. You could shield yourself to a point but by means of using diverse switches.

For example in case you are deleting a couple of files you could get a activate before every document is deleted so you can be certain you’re deleting the precise documents.

Rm -i /direction/to/report

Each time you run the above command a message will appear asking you whether or not you are certain you need to delete the record.

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If you are deleting dozens of documents receiving a spark off for every one could get tedious and you would possibly just press “y” repeatedly and nonetheless end up accidentally deleting the wrong record.

You may use the subsequent command which most effective prompts whilst you are deleting extra than 3 files or you are deleting recursively.

Rm -i /route/to/file

The rm command is likely the one you need to use least if you wish to be cautious.

Introducing trash-cli

The trash-cli software affords a command line trash can.

It is not generally mounted by default with linux so that you will ought to deploy it from the repositories of your distribution.

If you are the usage of a debian based distribution together with ubuntu or mint use the apt-get command:

Sudo apt-get set up trash-cli

In case you are the use of a fedora or centos based totally distribution use the yum command:

Sudo yum deploy trash-cli

In case you are using opensuse use the zypper command:

Sudo zypper -i trash-cli

Eventually in case you are using an arch primarily based distribution use the pacman command:

Sudo pacman -s trash-cli

A way to ship a document to the trash can

To send a file to the trash can use the subsequent command:

Trash /direction/to/record

The document isn’t always completely deleted but rather despatched to a trash can inside the same manner as the home windows recycle bin.

If you deliver the trash command to a folder call it’s going to send the folder and all the files in the folder to the recycle bin.

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The way to list the documents inside the trash can

To listing the files in the trash you could run the subsequent command:


The results again include the original course to the file and the date and time the files were sent to the trash can.

A way to restore documents from the trash can

The guide page for the trash command states that to restore a record you have to use the subsequent command:


You can but acquire a command now not found blunders in case you run this command.

The opportunity to trash-restore is repair-trash as follows:


The restore-trash command will listing all the files in the trash with more than a few next to each one. To restore a document simply input the range subsequent to the report.

How to empty the trash can

The primary problem with the trash can technique is that the files nonetheless soak up precious power space. In case you are happy that the whole lot in the trash can is not required you could run the subsequent command to drain the trash.


If you want to delete all of the documents that have been inside the trash for a sure number of days without a doubt specify that range with the trash-empty command.

Trash-empty 7


Maximum graphical desktop environments provide a trash can or recycle bin, but whilst you are using the command line you are left for your very own wit and cunning.

To be safe i advocate using the trash-cli software.

About the author

Venkatesan Prabu

Venkatesan Prabu

Wikitechy Founder, Author, International Speaker, and Job Consultant. My role as the CEO of Wikitechy, I help businesses build their next generation digital platforms and help with their product innovation and growth strategy. I'm a frequent speaker at tech conferences and events.

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