Sunday, April 17, 2005

Delete all files in directroy except....

In Unix, to delete all the files in a directory except the ones that start with the letter "a", do the following:

rm [!a]*

But let's say there are many files, and you want to delete everything except a file called "my_file". Use grep's inverse matching capability here:

rm $(ls * | grep -v my_file)

Of course if there are other files with "my_file" as part of their filename, then those won't be deleted either. The following will ensure that this doesn't happen:

rm $(ls * | grep -v '^my_file$')
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