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I have a dir:

$ tree
|-- CVS
|   |-- Entries
|   |-- Entries.Log
|   |-- Repository
|   `-- Root
|-- dirA
|   |-- CVS
|   |   |-- Entries
|   |   |-- Repository
|   |   `-- Root
|   |-- file1
|   `-- file2
|-- dirB
|   |-- CVS
|   |   |-- Entries
|   |   |-- Repository
|   |   `-- Root
|   |-- file3
|   `-- file4
|-- file5
`-- file6

I can find all files I want to delete with this command:

$ find . -name CVS -prune -o -type f -print

But if I change -print to -delete

$ find . -name CVS -prune -o -type f -delete

Everything is gone. Why?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Look at the man pages for find, under -delete:

When testing a find command line that you later intend to use with -delete, you should explicitly specify -depth in order to avoid later surprises. Because -delete implies -depth, you cannot usefully use -prune and -delete together.

You can most probably just use -exec rm {} + instead of -delete in this context to do what you want, but as always when playing with fire: make very sure that it works before going in hard.

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