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Aug, 27th 2005:

You are here: System->Tips and Tricks

Protecting files with noclobber

This tip is for people who have ever hosed important files by using > when they meant to use >>. Add the following line to .bashrc:

set -o noclobber.
The noclobber option prevents you from overwriting existing files with the > operator.

Code Listing 1

% program > file2
bash: file2: cannot overwrite existing file

In some cases you may really want to overwrite the file. In this case, instead of turning noclobber off, you can use >! to force the file to be written.

Code Listing 2

% program >! file2 

From http://www.gentoo.org/news/en/gwn/20040614-newsletter.xml


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