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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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8.7.1 rm -rf .*

In "rm -rf .*", ".*" expands to include "." and "..", and if you happen to have privileges to write to the parent directory then you'll end up removing all directories next to your current directory as well.

  • "rm -rf ." : removes everything under current directory and current directory itself.

  • "rm -rf *" : removes every non-dot files and non-dot directories under current directory

  • "rm -rf .[^.]*" : removes every dot files and dot-directories under current directory.

  • "rm -rf .*" : removes everything under parent directory and parent directory itself.

Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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