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


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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