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Removing Files
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23.22 Using find to Clear Out Unneeded Files

Do you run find on your machine every night? Do you know what it has to go through just to find out if a file is three days old and smaller than 10 blocks or owned by "fred" or setuid root? This is why I tried to combine all the things we need done for removal of files into one big find script:

















2>&1 

#! /bin/sh
#
# cleanup - find files that should be removed and clean them
# out of the file system.

find / \(    \( -name '#*'                 -atime +1 \)  \
        -o   \( -name ',*'                 -atime +1 \)  \
        -o   \( -name rogue.sav            -atime +7 \)  \
        -o   \(      \( -name '*.bak'                    \
                     -o -name '*.dvi'                    \
                     -o -name '*.CKP'                    \
                     -o -name '.*.bak'                   \
                     -o -name '.*.CKP' \)  -atime +3 \)  \
        -o   \( -name '.emacs_[0-9]*'      -atime +7 \)  \
        -o   \( -name core                           \)  \
        -o   \( -user guest                -atime +9 \)  \
\) -print -exec rm -f {} \; > /tmp/.cleanup 2>&1

[This is an example of using a single find command to search for files with different names and last-access times (see article 17.5). As Chris points out, doing it all with one find is much faster, and less work for the disk, than running a lot of separate finds. The parentheses group each part of the expression. The neat indentation makes this big thing easier to read. The -print -exec at the end removes each file and also writes the filenames to standard output, where they're collected into a file named /tmp/.cleanup-people can read it to see what files were removed. You should probably be aware that printing the names to /tmp/.cleanup lets everyone see pathnames, like /home/joe/personal/resume.bak, that some people might consider sensitive. Another thing to be aware of is that this find command starts at the root directory; you can do the same thing for your own directories. -JP ]

- CT in net.unix-wizards on Usenet, 9 June 1985


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