Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: March 2015
Overwrite the specified FILE(s) repeatedly, in order to make it harder for even very expensive hardware probing to recover the data.
Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.
If FILE is -, shred standard output.
Delete FILE(s) if --remove (-u) is specified. The default is not to remove the files because it is common to operate on device files like /dev/hda, and those files usually should not be removed. The optional HOW parameter indicates how to remove a directory entry: 'unlink' => use a standard unlink call. 'wipe' => also first obfuscate bytes in the name. 'wipesync' => also sync each obfuscated byte to disk. The default mode is 'wipesync', but note it can be expensive.
CAUTION: Note that shred relies on a very important assumption: that the file system overwrites data in place. This is the traditional way to do things, but many modern file system designs do not satisfy this assumption. The following are examples of file systems on which shred is not effective, or is not guaranteed to be effective in all file system modes:
In the case of ext3 file systems, the above disclaimer applies (and shred is thus of limited effectiveness) only in data=journal mode, which journals file data in addition to just metadata. In both the data=ordered (default) and data=writeback modes, shred works as usual. Ext3 journaling modes can be changed by adding the data=something option to the mount options for a particular file system in the /etc/fstab file, as documented in the mount man page (man mount).
GNU coreutils online help: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/>
Report shred translation bugs to <http://translationproject.org/team/>
Copyright © 2014 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <http://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>.
Full documentation at: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/shred>
or available locally via: info '(coreutils) shred invocation'
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