I am trying to delete a directory stored on a Windows 2008 R2 server, mounted on a Mac as network home (10.8.5). The directory was created by Safari and stores temporary internet files. I need to be able to delete this folder on logout from a Mac bash script.

The Terminal on Mac shows the directory as empty:

36W-FacRm-02:History lwickham$ cd /home/lwickham/Library/Caches/Metadata/Safari/History
36W-FacRm-02:History lwickham$ ls -al
total 0
drwx------ 1 lwickham CGPS\Domain Users 264 Nov 8 09:24 .
drwx------ 1 lwickham CGPS\Domain Users 264 Nov 8 09:28 ..

However, on the Windows server it has a single 0kb file that doesn't start with a "." but yet is invisible to the Mac.

 Volume in drive E is FacultyUsers2
 Volume Serial Number is 8C17-4EF3

 Directory of E:\FacultyHome2\lwickham\Library\Caches\Metadata\Safari\History

11/08/2013  09:24 AM    <DIR>          .
11/08/2013  09:24 AM    <DIR>          ..
11/07/2013  04:28 PM                 0 http?%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Furl?sa=t&rct=
               1 File(s)              0 bytes
               2 Dir(s)  514,231,967,744 bytes free
                           9ypKbpYbXRng00FY3W8Y6cF1Tiw&bvm=bv.56146854,d.1 File(s)              0 bytes2 Dir(s)  514,231,967,744 bytes free

All my attempts to delete the dir from the Mac have failed:

36W-FacRm-02:History lwickham$ rm -fr /home/lwickham/Library/Caches/Metadata/Safari/History/*
36W-FacRm-02:History lwickham$ rm -frd /home/lwickham/Library/Caches/
rm: /home/lwickham/Library/Caches//Metadata/Safari/History: Directory not empty
rm: /home/lwickham/Library/Caches//Metadata/Safari: Directory not empty
rm: /home/lwickham/Library/Caches//Metadata: Directory not empty
rm: /home/lwickham/Library/Caches/: Directory not empty
  • Adam - the directory listing does not show ownership and/or permissions on this odd file. What does it show using ls -laf ? Have you tried using the 'sudo chflags nouchg' and 'sudo chflags noschg' command to unset the immutable flag?
    – IconDaemon
    Nov 13, 2013 at 19:59

2 Answers 2


Step 1, stop trying to admin a Windows server with Mac tools.

Step 2, access the Windows server through Remote Desktop, or psexec.exe, or Powershell Remoting, or something that can execute commands on the Windows server, or have the admin do it if you don't have access.

Step 3, run

C:\>rd /s /q E:\FacultyHome2\lwickham\Library\Caches\Metadata\Safari\History

That will recursively delete that directory and all files it contains. You can do it from the Mac as long as you're using a tool that remotely executes commands on the Windows machine.


you could try to explicitely delete each item in the directory via find:

 find /home/lwickham/Library/Caches/ -depth -delete

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