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Old 07-14-2010, 04:27 PM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2010
Location: Fairview Heights, IL
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question concerning command syntax

I'm currently studying for my Linux+ test and I'm getting conflicting information regarding the rm -rf command. Yes, I know this a dangerous command, but my question is in regard to how the command functions. In one book I'm studying it says that rm -rf / home/myfolder (there's a space in there) will delete the entire root directory because there is a space between the root and home directory. It says that if there is a spacing such as this, it will ignore anything after the space, so in this case, it would delete the root directory and stop, not that there would be anything left anyway. Then in another book I have, it says that if you did a rm -rf folderName / (with the intention of adding the trailing slash to indicate it is a directory and not a folder) it will delete everything in folderName (assuming it's a child directory of your pwd) and then CONTINUE on and delete the root directory. Now, those two statements contradict each other. When you remove a directory, does the command line ignore anything after a space or not?
Old 07-14-2010, 04:58 PM   #2
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Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Akron, OH
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In either case, "/" and "home/myfolder" or "folderName" are passed to rm as two different parameters. So rm will remove the root directory and the "folderName" directory if it exists in your pwd (which it won't anyway because it will have been removed using the first argument. I hope this helps.


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