(lemacs.info)Dired Deletion

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Deleting Files With Dired

   The primary use of Dired is to flag files for deletion and then
delete them.

     Flag this file for deletion.

     Remove deletion-flag on this line.

     Remove deletion-flag on previous line, moving point to that line.

     Delete the files that are flagged for deletion.

     Flag all auto-save files (files whose names start and end with `#')
     for deletion (Note: Auto Save.).

     Flag all backup files (files whose names end with `~') for deletion
     (Note: Backup.).

`. (Period)'
     Flag excess numeric backup files for deletion.  The oldest and
     newest few backup files of any one file are exempt; the middle
     ones are flagged.

   You can flag a file for deletion by moving to the line describing the
file and typing `d' or `C-d'.  The deletion flag is visible as a `D' at
the beginning of the line.  Point is moved to the beginning of the next
line, so that repeated `d' commands flag successive files.

   The files are flagged for deletion rather than deleted immediately to
avoid the danger of deleting a file accidentally.  Until you direct
Dired to delete the flagged files, you can remove deletion flags using
the commands `u' and DEL.  `u' works just like `d', but removes flags
rather than making flags.  DEL moves upward, removing flags; it is like
`u' with numeric argument automatically negated.

   To delete the flagged files, type `x'.  This command first displays a
list of all the file names flagged for deletion, and requests
confirmation with `yes'.  Once you confirm, all the flagged files are
deleted, and their lines are deleted from the text of the Dired buffer.
The shortened Dired buffer remains selected.  If you answer `no' or
quit with `C-g', you return immediately to Dired, with the deletion
flags still present and no files actually deleted.

   The `#', `~', and `.' commands flag many files for deletion, based
on their names.  These commands are useful precisely because they do
not actually delete any files; you can remove the deletion flags from
any flagged files that you really wish to keep.

   `#' flags for deletion all files that appear to have been made by
auto-saving (that is, files whose names begin and end with `#').  `~'
flags for deletion all files that appear to have been made as backups
for files that were edited (that is, files whose names end with `~').

   `.' (Period) flags just some of the backup files for deletion: only
numeric backups that are not among the oldest few nor the newest few
backups of any one file.  Normally `dired-kept-versions' (not
`kept-new-versions'; that applies only when saving) specifies the
number of newest versions of each file to keep, and `kept-old-versions'
specifies the number of oldest versions to keep.  Period with a
positive numeric argument, as in `C-u 3 .', specifies the number of
newest versions to keep, overriding `dired-kept-versions'.  A negative
numeric argument overrides `kept-old-versions', using minus the value
of the argument to specify the number of oldest versions of each file
to keep.

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