rm -rf in python

Michael Hudson mwh21 at cam.ac.uk
Sat Feb 24 16:54:19 EST 2001

"David Allen" <s2mdalle at titan.vcu.edu> writes:

> In article <m3hf1jsryl.fsf at atrus.jesus.cam.ac.uk>, "Michael Hudson"
> <mwh21 at cam.ac.uk> wrote:
> > "David Allen" <s2mdalle at titan.vcu.edu> writes:
> > 
> >> I need to write the equivalent of "rm -rf" in python, so I wrote this, but
> >> I'm having a hard time understanding why it's not working.  
> > [schnipp]
> >> Any help would be appreciated.
> > 
> > I haven't read your code, but do you know about shutil.rmtree?
> I hadn't until now...
> Searching yields:
> http://www.python.org/doc/current/lib/module-shutil.html
> Question:  I'm not seeing in the documentation for
> this whether or not it's good on windows machines.
> Is it?  In my original code I had to be careful to
> use os.sep rather than just "/" because this code 
> will have to run on microsoft OS's.

>From glancing at the source, I'd say it should work.  It does its
stuff by building up a list of tuples of the form

(os.remove, path_to_file)


(os.rmdir, path_to_dir)

(building up the paths using os.path.join) and then rattles through
doing essentially

for a, b in list_of_tuples:

I don't know how old the module is, but I think it was in 1.5.2 (and
if this turns out to be a problem you can just nick the code from


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