Linux – Find Archive & Delete older files

In this article we are going to find older files and then archive and delete after certain days.

For this to achieve we will be using certain linux bash commands mentioned below in details.

1. Find & delete

find /path/to/files/ -type f -name '*.tar.gz' -mtime +30 -exec rm {} \;

Explanation

  • First part is the find & path where your files are located. Don’t use wildcard * if you have a lot of files because you will get Argument list too long error.
  • Second part -type is the file type f stands for files & d stands for directory.
  • Third part -name is limiting type of file as here we have used all tar files as *.tar.gz files
  • Fourth part -mtime gets how many days the files older than will be listed. +30 is for files older than 30 days.
  • Fifth part -exec executes a command. In this case rm is the command, {} gets the filelist and \; closes the command.

2. Find & Move files

find /path/to/files/ -type f -name '*.tar.gz' -mtime +30 -exec mv {} /path/to/archive/ \;

Explanation

  • Find, -type, -name, -mtime already explained as above.
  • while Fifth part -exec mv will executes move command. by getting list from {} and move the files and \; will closes the command.

Final shell script to archive & delete

#!/bin/bash
######## Move files older than 10 days ########
/usr/bin/find /path/to/files/ -type f -name '*.tar.gz' -mtime +10 -exec mv {} /path/to/archive/ \;
######## Delete files older than 30 days ########
/usr/bin/find /path/to/archive/ -type f -name '*.tar.gz' -mtime +30 -exec rm {} \;

Above shell script will work on most of the Linux distributions.

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