Today I Learned

hashrocket A Hashrocket project

Command Line Length Limitations

The other day I tried to run a rm command on the contents of a directory with a LOT of files.

$ rm images/*

Instead of deleting the contents of the directory, the following message was displayed:

/bin/rm: cannot execute [Argument list too long]

Bash wanted to expand the entire command before executing it. It was too long. But what is too long?

It turns out that we can figure out the max length of commands with the following command:

$ getconf ARG_MAX

For me, the result is 262144.

source 1 and source 2

See More #command-line TILs