Is there a library equivalent of "rm -rf" ?

Andrew Koenig ark at research.att.com
Wed Oct 30 23:59:23 CET 2002


I couldn't find a library function to (recursifely) remove a directory
and everything in it.

os.rmdir removes a directory, but only if it's empty.

os.removedirs removes a file, then pruns empty directories above it.

Did I miss something?

The obvious question is:  ``Why do I care?  It's trivial to write.''
The answer is that it's not quite trivial in the presence of symbolic
links: If the function encounters a symbolic link, it should not
follow it even if it refers to a directory.  So the obvious code,
which checks for a directory and traverses it if it gets one,
is wrong--and dangerously so.

-- 
Andrew Koenig, ark at research.att.com, http://www.research.att.com/info/ark



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