LKBEN11067: Posix error 7: Argument list too long


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LKB | Created: 02/04/2020 | Version: 0 | Language: EN | Rating: 0 | Outdated: False | Marked for deletion: False

Author: Wim Peeters - Keskon GmbH & Co. KG


Symptom

You get the error message: Argument list too long

Cause

none

Solution

In the bash shell, it can happen that you get an "Argument list too long" by using the rm command when the amount of

files you want to delete is to long. If you want to know how high your limit is you can find it with:

getconf ARG_MAX

On my system it delivers 131072.

In this case you can use xargs to do the job.

find -type f -print0 | xargs -0 rm

or you can use the find command at once (in this case for txt files)

find . -name "*.txt" -exec rm {} ;  

You can also use a for loop

for i in *.txt; do rm "$i"; done

or

ls * | xargs rm (this might not be what you want!)




About the Author

Wim Peeters is electronics engineer with an additional master in IT and over 30 years of experience including time spent in support, development, consulting, training and database administration. Wim has worked with SQL Server since version 6.5. He has developed in C/C++, Java and C# on Windows and Linux in different European countries and different European languages. He writes knowledge base articles to solve IT problems and publishes them on the Lubby Knowledge Platform where he is one of the most important contributors and the main developer.

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