Q. I’m new to Linux. We have a backup server and most our developer sftp or ftp and upload files to our server. I just need backup of last 4 weeks. So if I try to list or remove directory I get an error cannot remove directory.
So my question is why am I getting an "Argument list too long" error message when executing some commands in the shell?
A. Each command under Linux/UNIX accepts a parameter commonly known as command arguments (or args).
For example, the command cd /etc is considered as 1 command line arguments, namely, /etc. Some command can accept more than 2 argument and act on supplied args. For example cp command:
$ cp /etc/file1 /etc/file2 /etc/file3 /mnt/pen
cp command has total 4 command line arguments. The shell can hold a maximum of 131072 bytes for command line arguments. If you try to pass more than that number you will greeted with an error that read as follows:
Argument list too long
Remember each character requires one byte of storage.
How do I get rid of this problem while using rm / ls or any other shell command?
The best way to deal with this problem is to use wild cards. For example, just list a directory starting with a character:
$ ls a*
$ rm a*
You can also use for loop to deal with group of files:
for fileset in a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t v w x z do /bin/rm $fileset* doneTwitterFacebookGoogle+PDF versionFound an error/typo on this page? Help us!
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