14.9.3 Deleting Files With Dired
The primary use of Dired is to flag files for deletion and then delete
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
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
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