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Re: -bash: /bin/rm: Argument list too long

I found answers to all my questions. It aint bash either!! It's the kernel. Thanks all.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: -bash: /bin/rm: Argument list too long
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2003 14:32:55 -0900
From: N Nair <nandagopalnair netscape net>
To: ext3-users redhat com

 find . -name *.log  | xargs rm
was the way I was going to go, but then it said
-bash: /usr/bin/find: Argument list too long
rm: too few arguments

I also tried
mv *.log /dev/null
which generated a similar error.

Silly me, I thought it was rm that was complaining when it was in fact bash!!
Obviously the string that bash generates by expanding wildcard '*.log' is too long for it to pass to any command.
Just like Juri said it is a shell limitation.I have looked, but havent seen any options or shell variables that would let me up this limit.

So I escaped the wildcard and let 'find' handle it by
find . -name '*.log' | xargs rm
which did it.

Thanks Stephen for the find and xargs insight. Thanks all for replying, although this is clearly not a filesystem issue ( which wasn't clear to me when I presented it initially)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: -bash: /bin/rm: Argument list too long
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 11:29:57 -0900
From: N Nair To: ext3-users redhat com
References: <20030221170912 E1E343F3C7 listman redhat com>


Is there a limit to the number of arguments that can be passed to fileutils programs such as mv or rm ? If yes, is it filesystem dependant/kernel config dependant/fileutils version dependant? Can this maximum limit be tuned/controlled ? I googled on it a bit, but couldn't find anything much more relevant than a message in the OS-X forum.


Someone asked me this question in a linux-related forum and I decided to experiment on my box ( RedHat 8.0 running vanilla kernel 2.4.20; fileutils version 4.1.9 ) to find out what the current limit was. I found that 12806 filenames can be passed to rm at a time without generating the error shown in the subject line. (Took me about a dozen tries to reach this figure.)

Your comments would be extremely valuable.


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