A Deadly Linux/UNIX Command in Action (Video)

Have you ever wondered what will happen to your Linux/UNIX system if you'll run any of the 7 deadly Linux commands? If you are close to trying any of those forbidden commands, I want you to read and understand this proverb first:

"Curiosity killed the cat"

You may also want to look at this photo:

Anyway, I have here a video of someone running "rm -rf /" on an Ubuntu desktop to better illustrate the danger of using those commands. To recap, "rm -rf /" will recursively wipe out all the files inside the root directory, which means your Linux/UNIX system will slowly but surely go down in a matter of time.

Video Credit:

Isn't that interesting? At the very end of the video, you can see that the X crashes and there is no way to save it. Actually, there were no important files harmed while making that video since the borked Ubuntu runs on virtual machine as guest OS. So if ever you feel the urge to try any of those deadly Linux/UNIX commands, make sure you use virtualization software like VirtualBox or VMware, and then install a Linux distro as guest OS. And, don't forget to capture it using a screencasting software application so that we may show your little adventure here :-)


  1. Interesting post mate and LOL to the cat. It's only after I saw the video that I realized how deadly that command can be.

  2. AnonymousJuly 26, 2010

    I definitely dig the tune. I could see myself using such a command after dealing with Ubuntu wireless issues for 3 days.
    And bravo for the cat pic!

  3. AnonymousJuly 26, 2010

    I prefer doing it this way, because I'm a degenerate gambler:

    # [ $[ $RANDOM % 6 ] == 0 ] && rm -rf / || echo "You live"

  4. That is why you install safe-rm or don't let anyone have root access other than the person that knows wtf they are doing.

    safe-rm - wrapper around the rm command to prevent accidental deletions

  5. Scary.
    This command should be banned!

  6. AnonymousJuly 27, 2010

    Please don't show this video to any children, it's too disturbing!

  7. Hmm, shame you cant change Windows system files from within itself anymore. I enjoyed deleting shutdown.exe and winlogon.exe :D
    Anyway I expected a few more errors on that video :D
    <3 Forkbomb :D