July 21, 2003

rm -rf /* [pause] Nooooo!

Posted in General at 11:05 pm by Ian

I sure am learning a lot about Linux by playing around with my new sever.

For instance, today I learned that you really want to mount a FAT drive as vfat, not as msdos, regardless of what Red Hat will tell you.

I learned that one reason you might want to do this is that vfat will support filenames longer than 8.3 characters.

I learned that the mv command operates sequentially, so that when you give the computer an instruction like:

mv /tv/* /share/tv/

(for the unix-illiterate: mv is the move command, the * is a wildcard that should match every file in the directory tv, /share/tv/ is the destination directory, so other people can see the shows)

what it does is, first, it moves one file and then it moes the next, and so on.

I learned that when you move things onto a FAT disk mounted as msdos, the filenames are truncated, so, hypothetically, Scrubs – 101 – Pilot.avi is conveniently shortened to scrubs -.avi. Amazingly enough, Scrubs – 102 – My Mentor.avi also shortens to that.

I learned that when your computer produces an error message that you only think you understand, you should stop doing whatever you are doing until you are sure.

I will now learn to enjoy the remaining episode of Scrubs I have left, having written each one over the last.

Stupid computer.


  1. Adam said,

    At least it wasn’t the command in the title, that’s a real winner. At any rate cp then rm really is much better than mv for moving files for exaclty the reason you discovered.

  2. Kyle said,

    LOL so THATS why you need to get scrubs from me again… all but the last ep of each season. You too funny Ian, accidentally deleting all your eps. Least there’s only 2 seasons ^^

  3. Sarra said,

    You should be really, really glad I’ve seen all of both seasons, or you would be really, really dead. Or I would just have to start getting them from someone else.

  4. Ian said,

    Oh. Yeah. I guess I was just overcome with the loss, and didn’t even consider how this might affect other people who feel entitled. How selfish of me.

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