Implementing a deltree Command in Linux

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Removing a software package is made easy by using Dr. Ekdahl's deltree command.
More Utilities

If C library calls do most of the grunt work, writing a simple utility like deltree is neither difficult nor time consuming and may offer unanticipated opportunities to use the framework of the program to address additional problems. This code can be adapted to perform the same functions as find; use it as a skeleton for a findfile command which scans a directory tree for file names matching a command-line argument. Just replace the file and directory deletion subroutines with functions that compare each file name with the target name and print out the path name to each match.

Do you port code from the Borland or Watcom PC DOS or OS/2 environments and move entire directory trees into Linux space at once? If so, then you have probably discovered that unwanted files migrate along with the necessary ones: files with suffixes such as .map, .sym, .dsk, .swp, .prj, .exe, and the like. With modification, deltree can also provide a framework for a cleandir utility that removes the chaff from the toolbox directory tree. To make the necessary changes, replace StrStack with a StrList class which contains a list of target file name suffixes. Instead of removing all files, the utility checks the suffix of each file in the directory tree against the list of target suffixes and deletes selectively. Once you have the hang of walking a Linux directory tree, creating plug-in functions to perform other tasks is a simple matter, and it is easy to generate a group of utilities which address a broader spectrum of directory tree maintenance issues.

All code needed to implement this command is available by anonymous download in the file ftp://ftp.linuxjournal.com/pub/lj/listings/issue52/2439.tgz.

Graydon Ekdahl (gekdahl@ibm.net) s president of Econometrics, Inc. located in Chapel Hill, N.C. Graydon enjoys creating database applications and is interested in data structures, algorithms, C++ and Java.

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