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Linux in a Nutshell

This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition.

Click on any of the 687 commands below to get a description and list of available options. All links in the command summaries point to the online version of the book on Safari Bookshelf.

Buy it now, or read it online on Safari Bookshelf.


shred [options] files

Overwrite a file to make the contents unrecoverable, and delete the file afterward if requested.



Shred standard output.

-f, --force

Force permissions to allow writing to files.


Print help message and exit.

-nnum, --iterations=num

Overwrite files num times (default is 25).

-snum, --size=num

Shred num bytes. num can be expressed with suffixes (e.g., K, M, or G).

-u, --remove

Remove file after overwriting. shred does not remove the file unless this option is specified.

-v, --verbose

Verbose mode.


Print version information and exit.

-x, --exact

Shred the exact file size; do not round up to the next full block.

-z, --zero

On the final pass, overwrite with zeros to hide the shredding.

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