Deleting empty file and directory in Unix
Many times we need to find and delete empty files or directories in UNIX/Linux. Since there is no single command in Unix/Linux which allows you to remove empty files or empty directories rather we need to rely on find command and xargs command. In this UNIX and linux example we will see How to delete empty files and directories. Before removing empty files and directories we need to find those files and there are lots of option available to search for empty directories like find, grep , awk etc. You just need to know correct option. Like in any other operating system empty files and directories in Unix are those whose size is zero. Empty files doesn't contains any content while empty directories does not contain anything at all e.g files or sub-directories. As discussed in previous post 10 frequently used find command examples we can also use find command to search and delete empty files and directories as it provides searching files based on size as well.
Creating Empty files and directories in Unix
let's first create empty file and directory to demonstrate example of how to delete empty files in Unix. We can use same set of commands which we have used in our example of How to find size of files and directories in Unix.
Searching Empty Files and Directory in Unix/Linux
find -empty option prints both empty files and directories. If you just want to print files than use -type f option and -type d for listing empty directories. its quite flexible. You can also use grep command along with ls –lrt to display empty files and directories as shown below :
Deleting Empty Files and Directories in Unix Linux
Now once we certain that there are empty files and directory exists you can delete them by using find -delete option or executing rm command in combination with find command as shown below:
That’s all on How to find and remove empty files and directories in Unix and Linux host. As I mentioned there are many ways to find empty files and directory but best way is by using find command, which not only list empty files but empty directories as well.
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