I have to remove many directory. but

rm -r /data

is so slow ( about some days) /data has

/data/a/b/c/d/e/f/g/h ....

many dirs

Does anyone know?


1 Answer 1


Removing huge amount of files and directories is a long operation, no matter what file system you have in use. Depending on your I/O subsystem and file system it might help performing the removal in parallel; just put one rm process removing directories starting with a-f, another one with g-n, and third one with o-z. Or something like that.

Or if it's OK for you to just have file removal going on background, you can always

mv data data_to_be_removed
mkdir data
rm -rf data_to_be_removed
  • 1
    Just what I was in the process of suggesting, Janne - I completely agree with you. Computers are there to do hard work that takes time, so we don't have to. mv the file system to one side, then rm -rf can be happily chewing through it freeing up disc while you get on with putting your new content in place.
    – MadHatter
    Oct 28, 2011 at 8:39

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