(emacs)Dired Deletion


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Deleting Files with Dired
=========================

   The primary use of Dired is to "flag" files for deletion and then
delete the files previously flagged.

`d'
     Flag this file for deletion.

`u'
     Remove deletion flag on this line.

`DEL'
     Move point to previous line and remove the deletion flag on that
     line.

`x'
     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.

`% d REGEXP RET'
     Flag for deletion all files whose names match the regular
     expression REGEXP (`dired-flag-files-regexp').  This is just like
     `% m' except that it uses `D' instead of `*' to mark the files.

     Only the non-directory part of the file name is used in matching.
     Use `^' and `$' to anchor matches.  Exclude subdirectories by
     hiding them (Note: Hiding Subdirectories.).

   You can flag a file for deletion by moving to the line describing the
file and typing `d'.  The deletion flag is visible as a `D' at the
beginning of the line.  This command moves point 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
reduce the danger of deleting a file accidentally.  Until you direct
Dired to expunge 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' (`dired-expunge').  This
command first displays a list of all the file names flagged for
deletion, and requests confirmation with `yes'.  Once you confirm, `x'
deletes all the flagged files, then deletes their lines from the text
of the Dired buffer.  The shortened Dired buffer remains selected.

   If you answer `no' or quit with `C-g' when asked to confirm, you
return immediately to Dired, with the deletion flags still present in
the buffer, and no files actually deleted.

   The `#', `~' and `.' commands flag many files for deletion, based on
their file 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 whose names look like auto-save
files (Note: Auto Save.)--that is, files whose names begin and end
with `#'.  `~' flags for deletion all files whose names say they are
backup files (Note: Backup.)--that is, whose names end in `~'.

   `.' (Period) flags just some of the backup files for deletion: all
but the oldest few and 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.

   The `% d' command flags all files whose names match a specified
regular expression (`dired-flag-files-regexp').  Only the non-directory
part of the file name is used in matching.  You can use `^' and `$' to
anchor matches.  You can exclude subdirectories by hiding them (*note
Hiding Subdirectories::.).


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