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I use the command rm -rf directory but i came across the following article : Article That suggests that rsynch to an empty folder is the fastest way? rsync -a –delete empty/ a Why is this the case ? Is there another faster method to delete a nonEmpty folder ?

Another interesting article about this Article2

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Based on a very quick glimpse at GNU Coreutils 8.21 and rsync 3.0.1 sources plus taking a look what they do with the strace, the rm from GNU Coreutils seems to call malloc() quite a bit more than rsync does when performing the same thing. I'm doubt this explains the speed difference completely, though, but it's part of the explanation most likely.

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I have found that the fastest and most memory-efficient solution is to use this command in the directory full with millions of files:

ls -f1 | xargs rm


Because ls -f1 will not sort the directory content, it will start the output right away. The rm command will take just one argument: the actual file name coming from the first command. It was the only solution to delete 3.000.000 files from a Magento webshop's session directory. The server ran on a virtual machine with just 2Gb of RAM - it was no other possibility to delete the files.

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