bobsr bobsr - 6 months ago 14
Bash Question

Shell script delete folders older than n days

I have directories with name as

2012-12-12
2012-10-12
2012-08-08


How would i delete old entries that are older than 10 days with a bash shell script

Answer

This will do it recursively for you:

find /path/to/base/dir/* -type d -ctime +10 -exec rm -rf {} \;

Explanation:

  • find: the unix command for finding files / directories / links etc.
  • /path/to/base/dir: the directory to start your search in.
  • -type d: only find directories
  • -ctime +10: only consider the ones with modification time older than 10 days
  • -exec ... \;: for each such result found, do the following command in ...
  • rm -rf {}: recursively force remove the directory; the {} part is where the find result gets substituted into from the previous part.

Alternatively, use:

find /path/to/base/dir/* -type d -ctime +10 | xargs rm -rf

Which is a bit more efficient, because it amounts to:

rm -rf dir1 dir2 dir3 ...

as opposed to:

rm -rf dir1; rm -rf dir2; rm -rf dir3; ...

as in the -exec method.

Note: Also see @MarkReed's comment below regarding preferred usage with modern version of find.