useful unix command: xargs

In our mailserver, we backup every incoming email and keep it for a week. Sometime, it’s PITA when you want to purge the old email. For example;

[takizo@rooney backup]# rm -rf S0118*
-bash: /bin/rm: Argument list too long

when come to rm large amount of files, or editing, or rename, xargs is … very useful, no more PITA.

[takizo@rooney backup]# find . -name ‘S0118*’ | xargs rm

that’s it, so my friend, don’t do rm S011800*, S011802*, S011803*, S011804*, S011823 …. It’s wasting your time 😀

update 20080721 : for file name with spaces with it use “find . -iname ‘S0118*’ -print0 | xargs -0 rm”.