I accidentially copied my whole home directory into one of my subdirectories, causing me to exceed my disk quota on a server.

Or does anyone know how to undo a command in general?


3 Answers 3


Bash is just a command-line interpreter - it does what you tell it to do and doesn't have an undo helper program. You're best of just deleting the subdirectory with something like:

chmod -R 775 ~/yoursubdir && rm -rf ~/yoursubdir
  • Can you explain what the first part of that command does? Thanks :) Jan 5, 2012 at 19:36
  • That first part is setting the rwx (read, write, execute) permissions to your user and group - for all the files and folders just to be sure you will not encounter permission problems upon deleting.
    – user111228
    Jan 5, 2012 at 19:56

I'm pretty sure there's no such thing. If there was, that would be pretty interesting.

For your case you can just remove the subdirectory

rm -rf /path/to/subdirectory

But be careful with that command, as it can fully delete any files from the sub-directory without any confirmation. ;)


When it comes to the shell, you are the undo. The opposite of copying is deleting (rm), so delete the copies.

I recommend installing the trash-cli package, and then setting these Bash aliases:

alias rm='trash'
alias rrm='rm -i'

Of course, in your case, since you're out of disk space, you probably don't want to trash the files first. Even so, it's a good practice to use the trash.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.