this post was submitted on 13 Jun 2024
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Git repos have lots of write protected files in the .git directory, sometimes hundreds, and the default rm my_project_managed_by_git will prompt before deleting each write protected file. So, to actually delete my project I have to do rm -rf my_project_managed_by_git.

Using rm -rf scares me. Is there a reasonable way to delete git repos without it?

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[–] [email protected] 8 points 1 month ago (2 children)

Maybe they're afraid of accidentally writing rm -rf folder/.git /* or something

[–] [email protected] 5 points 1 month ago (4 children)

That's a good example. If I'm regularly running a command that is a single whitespace character away from disaster, that's a problem.

Imagine a fighter aircraft that had an eject button on the side of the flight stick. The pilot complains "I'm afraid I might accidentally hit the eject button when I don't need to", but everyone responds "why would you push the eject button if you don't want to eject?", or "so your concern is that the eject button will cause you to eject...?" -- That's how I feel right now.

[–] [email protected] 4 points 1 month ago

I understand the mindset you have, but trust me, you'll learn (sooner or later) a habit to pause and check your command before hitting enter. For some it takes a bit longer and it'll bite you in the butt for few times (so have backups), but everyone has gone down that path and everyone has fixed their mistakes now and then. If you want hard (and fast) way to learn to confirm your commands, use dd a lot ;)

One way to make it a bit less scary is to 'mv /tmp' and when you confirmed that nothing extra got removed you can 'cd /tmp; rm -rf ', but that still includes the 'rm -rf' part.

[–] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago* (last edited 1 month ago)

How about writing a script to automate the deletion, thus minimizing the chance of human error being a factor? It could include checks like "Is this a folder with .git contents? Am I being invoked from /home/username/my_dev_workspace?"

In a real aviation design scenario, they want to minimize the bullshit tasks that take up cognitive load on a pilot so they can focus on actually flying. Your ejector seat example would probably be replaced with an automatic ejection system that's managed by the flight computer.

[–] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago

Are you regularly deleting git repos?

[–] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago (1 children)

Generally that is not a concern because regular users won't be able to rm anything else other than those in his own $HOME.

Another thing I want to say is, command line is for careful users. If someone is careless, they should create a wrapper around rm, or just use a FM.

[–] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago

If someone is careless, they should create a wrapper around rm, or just use a FM.

I think that's the situation OP is in.. They don't trust themself with these kinds of commands, while other commenters here are trying to convince them that they should just use rm -rf anyway