5

Do anyone know some good way to delete files on remote server that are older than X days using just SCP/SFTP? Sure I can write some script on perl etc but I feel it's overkill.
Any UNIX way?
Oneliner?
Separate utility?

Thanks

P.S. The task is to delete some outdated backup files.

3

This question is very old but I still wanted to add my bash only solution as I was just searching for one when I came here. The grep tar in the listing command is just for my own purpose to list only tar files, can be adapted of course.

RESULT=`echo "ls -t path/to/old_backups/" | sftp -i ~/.ssh/your_ssh_key user@server.de | grep tar`

i=0
max=7
while read -r line; do
    (( i++ ))
    if (( i > max )); then
        echo "DELETE $i...$line"
        echo "rm $line" | sftp -i ~/.ssh/your_ssh_key user@server.de
    fi
done <<< "$RESULT"

This deletes all tar files in the given directory except the last 7 ones. It is not considering the date though but if you only have one backup per day it is good enough.

  • While this is interesting and all, doesn't it make more sense to make one connection which completes the entire task instead of a connection for each file to be deleted plus one more to get the list of files? – chicks Feb 15 '17 at 22:14
  • I'm not sure it is possible to run a sequence of commands like this using one connection and I think it would it would be over-optimizing as well. For the use case of deleting old backup files of backups that run once a day it means you would effectively do 2 ssh connections per day, one for the list and one for the one file that is out of max now. I think that is quite an acceptable tradeoff. – dirkaholic Feb 16 '17 at 9:10
4

Sure I can write some script on perl etc but it's overkill.

You don't need a script to achieve the intended effect - a one-liner will do if you have shell access to send a command:

ssh user@host 'find /path/to/old_backups/* -mtime +7 -exec rm {} \;'

-mtime +7 matches files created one week ago from midnight of the present day.

  • Sad but this is using SSH and remote oneliner. There is no shell access, just SCP/SFTP. – Mike Sep 27 '10 at 10:09
  • @Mike - Well that one-liner can save you some time over writing a perl script, if that is the case - you could use atime instead of mtime to match the last access time (i.e. when your files were last downloaded) and run a daily cron job. – danlefree Sep 27 '10 at 16:37
  • there is no shell access to remote machine. – Mike Oct 2 '10 at 11:03
  • @Mike I was under the impression that you could negotiate adding a cron job with the administrator of the server hosting your backup files - my apologies if this is not possible. – danlefree Oct 3 '10 at 3:43
1

If you insist on SCP/SFTP you can list files, parse them using a simple script and delete old backup files.

Batch mode "-b" switch should help you out. It reads sftp commands from file. http://linux.die.net/man/1/sftp

  • Sure it's possible, but I'm looking for more elegant UNIX way if it exists. – Mike Sep 25 '10 at 10:12
  • Do you have any idea? maybe suggestion from your side would help? Then we can make the idea a bit better? – M_1 Sep 25 '10 at 12:08

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