[CentOS] Re: ls and rm: "argument list too long"

Scott Silva ssilva at sgvwater.com
Fri Oct 17 18:49:20 UTC 2008

on 10-17-2008 2:30 AM Jussi Hirvi spake the following:
> Since when is there a limit in how long directory listings CentOS can show
> (ls), or how large directories can be removed (rm). It is really annoying to
> say, for example
>     rm -rf /var/amavis/tmp
> and get only "argument list too long" as feedback.
> Is there a way to go round this problem?
> I have CentOS 5.2. 
It isn't a problem with the commands, it is a problem of how long a command
line can be when piped to a command.

rm -rf /var/amavis/tmp is effectively the same as rm -rf /var/amavis/tmp/1
/var/amavis/tmp/2 /var/amavis/tmp/3 /var/amavis/tmp/4 /var/amavis/tmp/5 ...
etc. The number of diles and directories in that folder is the limiting factor.

And yes, Fedora would have the same limitation.

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