[Webinar] Streamline your web hosting managementRegister Today

x
?
Solved

Delete oldest files/directories - but not all!

Posted on 2003-12-10
3
Medium Priority
?
391 Views
Last Modified: 2010-04-21
I have an automated process that deposits generated files in subdirs (that it creates) of a fixed directory.  So it looks like

/mydir/20031201/file
/mydir/20031203/file
etc.

What I want to do is setup a cron job that will clean up the mydir directory.  Here's how I want it to work:

I want to delete all the directories (the 20031203-type, not mydir), and their files, EXCEPT for the newest 10.  So if there's only 10 dirs or less when the cleanup script runs, it does nothing.  If there are 33 dirs, it deletes the 23 oldest.

I'm trying to do this with ls -c, and then pipe through head and/or tail, but I just can't see a way to do it that way.

How can I write a script that will do this?
0
Comment
Question by:kwd
  • 2
3 Comments
 
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

by:
Karl Heinz Kremer earned 500 total points
ID: 9917703
The command "ls -t /mydir/*" lists all directories ordered by their creation time. The newest is first, and the oldest last. All you now have to do is strip off the first 10 names: The command "tail +11" does exactly this: It lists all lines starting with the 11th. If you now combine these commands, and call rm -rf on all lines, you are done:

ls -t /mydir/* | tail +11 | xargs /bin/rm -rf
You should however test this first with the echo command instead of /bin/rm:
ls -t /mydir/* | tail +11 | xargs echo


0
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 9917718
BTW: I used -t (modification time) instead of -c (creation time) because I would want to keep a directory that was recently modified around for a little while
0
 

Author Comment

by:kwd
ID: 9918135
Brilliant, thanks.  I missed the "+" option in man tail, and I didn't know about xargs.  Your script works perfectly!
0

Featured Post

Get expert help—faster!

Need expert help—fast? Use the Help Bell for personalized assistance getting answers to your important questions.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Have you ever been frustrated by having to click seven times in order to retrieve a small bit of information from the web, always the same seven clicks, scrolling down and down until you reach your target? When you know the benefits of the command l…
The purpose of this article is to fix the unknown display problem in Linux Mint operating system. After installing the OS if you see Display monitor is not recognized then we can install "MESA" utilities to fix this problem or we can install additio…
Planning to migrate your EDB file(s) to a new or an existing Outlook PST file? This video will guide you how to convert EDB file(s) to PST. Besides this, it also describes, how one can easily search any item(s) from multiple folders or mailboxes…
The video will let you know the exact process to import OST/PST files to the cloud based Office 365 mailboxes. Using Kernel Import PST to Office 365 tool, one can quickly import numerous OST/PST files to Office 365. Besides this, the tool also comes…
Suggested Courses
Course of the Month11 days, left to enroll

612 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question