# Re: RFC: preventing accidental deletion of system directories

On 23/03/2008, Andrew M.A. Cater <amacater@galactic.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> On Sat, Mar 22, 2008 at 03:50:32PM -0500, William Pitcock wrote:
>  > Hi,
>  >
>  > On Sat, 2008-03-22 at 13:51 +0100, Adam Borowski wrote:
>  > > To get those Vistaesque questions, "alias rm='rm -i'" is surely not
>  > > worth a
>  > > package.  It's slightly larger in scope, but only slightly, as
>  > > removing
>  > > files as root means you mess with system directories, right?
>  >
>  > Yes, that's what I mean: what's wrong with making rm -i the default
>  > behaviour? We could do that by simply patching coreutils.
>  >
>  > William
>
>  Go away and learn: there have been whole flamewars on this subject :)
>
>  Red Hat (if I remember correctly) used to alias rm automatically to rm
>  -i . The savvy users used to unalias rm before using it.
>
>  If, when you run as root, rm always asks - you get used to it. You move
>  to a different system where there is no alias or someone has turned it
>  off - and suddenly rm MEANS rm with no breathing space.
>
>  Much better, in my opinion which is shared by some others, to _always_
>  have rm as rm. There's nothing to stop the cautious explicitly calling
>  rm as rm -i anyway - but when you need to delete large numbers of files,
>  rm -i is a _real_ nuisance.
>
>  AndyC
>
>

I've made my mistakes with rm - and tried to learn from them.  I see
no reason why we should default to rm -i .  The alias is easy enough
to set up if one needs it and one can still royally muck things up
with rm -rf or \rm.

I agree that it could create problems for those used to rm -i when
they encounter a pure rm machine but I think it is therefore better
that people learn to alias commands and the limitations and get
arounds of that alisasing.

In *nix based systems rm has always meant rm - deleting files does just that.
The KDE Desktop provides the option to keep this functionality or have
temporary trash can on the desktop.  However, you don't get the option
of a trashcan on the command line - unless you want to write your own
script for it.

Regards

Lesley