LINUX: Removing Files Older Than x Days

It can often be use­ful to remove files that are unnec­es­sary, such as log files, back­up files, etc, when it is not already done auto­mat­i­cal­ly. For­tu­nate­ly there is a very sim­ple com­mand to do just that.

Using the find com­mand, it is pos­si­ble to find the files in the fold­er you want to clean out and remove them. The fol­low­ing com­mand scans the fold­er /home/myuser/myfolder/ for files old­er than 30 days and then exe­cutes rm, to remove those files.

find /home/myuser/myfolder/* -mtime +30 -exec rm {} \;

If you want to be cau­tions, you can use the fol­low­ing com­mands to test it out:

To see what find pulls up, you can run this.

find /home/myuser/myfolder/* -mtime +30

If you want to make cer­tain the exec com­mand is given the right para­me­ters, you can run it through ls.

find /home/myuser/myfolder/* -mtime +30 -exec ls -l {} \;

When a List of Files is Too Long for a Typical “rm” Command

I was on a client’s report­ing server and noticed that an “ls” of their report logs took about 10 min­utes. The direc­to­ry had a log for every report run since June 2010, which is around 1.3 mil­lion files!

Here’s a tran­script of the error:

[root@morpheus log]# pwd
/home/morpheus/tools/birt-runtime-2_0_1/Report Engine/log
You have new mail in /var/spool/mail/root
[root@morpheus log]# rm *
-bash: /bin/rm: Argument list too long

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