[gpfsug-discuss] Quick delete of huge tree

Ulrich Sibiller u.sibiller at science-computing.de
Tue Apr 20 12:18:15 BST 2021

Hello *,

I have to delete a subtree of about ~50 million files in thousands of subdirs, ~14TB of data. 
Running a recursive rm is very slow so I setup a simple policy file:

RULE 'delstuff' DELETE
     WHERE PATH_NAME LIKE '/mypath/%'

This kinda works but is not really fast, either. It even requires a second run because files and 
directories within the tree will be processed in arbitrary order so it will happen quite frequently 
that a directory is going to be deleted before its content has been removed completely. For those 
dirs I see an error message and have to delete afterwards.

I am wondering if there's a quicker way. Given the fact that this is a whole tree I think there's 
should be a quick way to unlink the complete inode hierachy.

Unfortunately we are not using a fileset for that tree...

So are there any ideas how to solve that more efficiently?

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