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


On Mon, 2003-02-24 at 20:39, Cecchi, Gianluca wrote:

> find /foofs -user foouser -maxdepth 3 -xdev -type f -exec rm {} \;
> In this way you execute the rm commands one by one and don't encounter the arg list too long message.
> If instead you use a command like
> find path expression | xargs rm
> you encounter the same limit problem.

No, on Linux at least, xargs will not show a limit problem --- it will
just submit the command with a valid-length partial list of arguments as
many times as necessary to deal with each file.  For instance:

        $ seq 10000 | xargs echo hello | grep  -c hello
shows that xargs took the 10000 arguments and ran the command "echo
hello <arglist>" 10 times before exhausting the arguments.

Piping to xargs does pose a few traps if you're using "find" on
filenames which contain odd characters like newlines and spaces, but
there's an easy way around that ---  "find -print0" will print the
filenames null-terminated rather than separated by newlines, and "xargs
-0" will accept null-terminated input, making the filename delimiting


        $ find <path> <find-args> -print0 | xargs -0 <command>

is my preferred way of iterating a command over multiple files.


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