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NAME

       fastrm - quickly remove a set of files

SYNOPSIS

       fastrm [ -d ] [ -e ] [ -uN ] [ -sM ] [ -cI ] base_directory

DESCRIPTION

       Fastrm reads a list of files, one per line, from its standard input and
       removes them.  If a file is not  an  absolute  pathname,  it  is  taken
       relative   to  the  directory  specified  on  the  command  line.   The
       base_directory parameter must be a simple absolute pathname — that  is,
       it must not contain any ‘‘/./’’ or ‘‘/../’’ references.

       Fastrm  is  designed  to  be  faster  than  the  typical ‘‘| xargs rm’’
       pipeline.  For example, fastrm will usually chdir(2) into  a  directory
       before removing files from it.  If the input is sorted, this means that
       most files to be removed will be simple names.

       Fastrm assumes that its input is valid and that it is safe to  just  do
       an unlink(2) call for each item to be removed.  As a safety measure, if
       fastrm is run by root it will first stat(2) the item to make sure  that
       it is not a directory before unlinking it.

OPTIONS

       -d     If the ‘‘-d’’ flag is used then no files are removed.  Instead a
              list of the files to be removed, in debug form,  is  printed  on
              the  standard  output.   Each  line  contains either the current
              directory of fastrm at the time it would do the unlink, and then
              the path name it would pass to unlink(2) as two fields separated
              by white space and a ‘‘/’’, or the absolute path name (a  single
              field) of files it would unlink using the absolute path name.

       -e     If  the  ‘‘-e’’  flag  is used, fastrm will treat an empty input
              file (stdin) as an error.  This is most useful  when  fastrm  is
              last  in  a  pipeline  after  a preceding sort(1) as if the sort
              fails, there will usually  be  no  output  to  become  input  of
              fastrm.

       -u     If   the   ‘‘-u’’  flag  is  used,  then  fastrm  makes  further
              assumptions about its  work  environment;  in  particular,  that
              there  are no symbolic links in the target tree.  This flag also
              suggests that it  is  probably  faster  to  reference  the  path
              ../../../  rather  than  start  from the root and come down.
              (Note that this probably isn’t true on systems that have a namei
              cache,  which  usually  holds  everything  except  ..).  The
              optional N is an integer that specifies the  maximum  number  of
              ..   segments  to  use — paths that would use more than this
              use the absolute path name (from  the  root)  instead.   If  the
              ‘‘-u’’ flag is given without a value, ‘‘-u1’’ is assumed.

       -s     If the ‘‘-s’’ flag is used, then fastrm will perform the unlinks
              from one directory — that is  when  a  group  of  files  in  one
              directory  appear in the input consecutively — in the order that
              the files appear in the directory from  which  they  are  to  be
              removed.  The intent of this flag is that on systems that have a
              per-process directory cache,  finding  files  in  the  directory
              should  be  faster.   It  can  have  smaller  benefits  on other
              systems.  The optional M is an integer that specifies the number
              of  files  that  must  be going to be removed from one directory
              before the files will be ordered.  If the ‘‘-s’’ flag  is  given
              without  a  value,  ‘‘-s5’’  is  assumed.   When  the  directory
              reordering is in use fastrm  will  avoid  attempting  to  unlink
              files  that  it  can’t  see in the directory, which can speed it
              appreciably when many  of  the  file  names  have  already  been
              removed.

       -c     The  ‘‘-c’’  flag may be given to instruct fastrm when it should
              chdir(2).  If  the  number  of  files  to  be  unlinked  from  a
              directory  is  at  least I then fastrm will chdir and unlink the
              files from in the directory.  Otherwise it  will  build  a  path
              relative  to  its current directory.  If ‘‘-c’’ is given without
              the optional integer I then ‘‘-c1’’ is assumed, which will cause
              fastrm  to always use chdir.  If ‘‘-c’’ is not used at all, then
              ‘‘-c3’’ is assumed.  Use ‘‘-c0’’ to  prevent  fastrm  from  ever
              using chdir(2).

       -a -r  There  are  also  ‘‘-a’’ and ‘‘-r’’ options, which do nothing at
              all, except allow you to say ‘‘fastrm -usa’’ ‘‘fastrm -ussr’’ or
              ‘‘fastrm  -user’’.   These happen to often be convenient sets of
              options to use.

EXIT STATUS

       Fastrm exits with a status of zero if there were no problems, or one if
       something  went wrong.  Attempting to remove a file that does not exist
       is not considered a problem.  If the  program  exits  with  a  non-zero
       status,  it  is  probably a good idea to feed the list of files into an
       ‘‘xargs rm’’ pipeline.

HISTORY

       This is revision 1.3, dated 1996/10/29.

                                                                     FASTRM(8)