Solaris Tictimed Catastrophic File Error

Solaris administrators may have seen the message “Catastrophic file error – zero length” in their system logs. Although it sounds serious, there is nothing “catastrophic” about it. This post explains how to stop the message from flooding your log files. Continue reading

Deleting Awkward Files

Deleting any file under Unix/Linux is usually a simple matter of using the “rm” command. Some files are more stubborn. If the file name contains special characters, or begins with a dash (“-“), it can be hard to get rid of:

bash-4.2$ ls -l
total 0
-rw-rw-r--. 1 james james 0 Aug 25 14:46 -a
-rw-rw-r--. 1 james james 0 Aug 25 14:46 logfile
-rw-rw-r--. 1 james james 0 Aug 25 14:45 some'file
bash-4.2$ rm some'file
> bash: unexpected EOF while looking for matching `''
bash: syntax error: unexpected end of file

A Few Alternatives

One obvious solution is to use a GUI. Highlight the awkward file in any file manager, hit the delete key, and it’s gone. But GUIs aren’t available everywhere. You may have only shell access to a server, for example. Continue reading