Linux command line mistake 'nukes web boss'S biz'

RTFM not rm -rf, man! FFS!

Explosion, image via Shutterstock

Update: it was a hoax The owner of a web host has unwittingly deleted his customers data after executing a powerful line of code on his servers.

Marco Marsala has appealed for help to recover his punters' info after accidentally running a Bash script on his Linux servers via Ansible.

Marsala is said to have 1,535 customers, although he does not identify his company. Unfortunately for Marsala, the script he ran was rm -rf {foo}/{bar}.

Rm is a Unix and Linux command that deletes objects like files. –r will delete a directory and –f force the action, meaning you don’t receive a prompt or warning.

The rest was history.

“All servers got deleted and the offsite backups too because the remote storage was mounted just before by the same script (that is a backup maintenance script),” he wrote on

Marsala has turned to the citizens of for help.

Apart from some helpful tips and general advice, however, he’s received condolences.

Andrew Borie wrote: “If you really don't have any backups I am sorry to say but you just nuked your entire company.”

Another, Sven, added: “I feel sorry to say that your company is now essentially dead.” ®

Update: Sorry folks: it turns out the story was a hoax, and we fell for it. ®

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