The rm -r / typo

Today I accidently made a (yes, very stupid) typo in a root console:

rm -r /

I noticed the typo almost directly, but rm managed to wipe out my /bin and started removing parts of /boot. This situation wasn’t very helpful for the stability of my system, as you might understand.

For the windows user: it’s a bit like deleting half of all executables in the windows folder.

One key difference: when running linux, you can fix it easily. I booted a livecd, mounted my system, copied the /bin from a stage3 tarball to my root partition and rebooted.

And it’s working again! There were some complaints about a libproc version mismatch with the binaries, but that’ll be easily solved by a emerge -e system.

You just got to love linux. (and other nixes for that matter)

2 thoughts on “The rm -r / typo”

  1. I did almost the exact same thing once. Except mine was a command like:

    mv ./* /some/other/location/

    I wasn’t aware I was in the root directory at the time. Problem was that I couldn’t move it back on the account that it had moved the mv command. I couldn’t use it at it’s new location for whatever reason, eventually I downloaded a move command off the internet, put it on that machine, and put everything back to where it needed to be.

    Yes, gotta love linux. 😀

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