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About bash : Delete-files-older-than-10-days-using-shell-script-in-Unix-duplicate

Question Detail

I’m new to shell scripts, can anyone help? I want to delete scripts in a folder from the current date back to 10 days.
The scripts looks like:


The script will run in every 10 day with Crontab, that’s why I need the current date.

Question Answer

find is the common tool for this kind of task :

find ./my_dir -mtime +10 -type f -delete


  • ./my_dir your directory (replace with your own)
  • -mtime +10 older than 10 days
  • -type f only files
  • -delete no surprise. Remove it to test your find filter before executing the whole command

And take care that ./my_dir exists to avoid bad surprises !

Just spicing up the shell script above to delete older files but with logging and calculation of elapsed time


timestamp=$(date +%Y%m%d_%H%M%S)    

START_TIME=$(date +%s)

find $path -maxdepth 1 -name "*.txt"  -type f -mtime +$days  -print -delete >> $log

echo "Backup:: Script Start -- $(date +%Y%m%d_%H%M)" >> $log

... code for backup ...or any other operation .... >> $log

END_TIME=$(date +%s)


echo "Backup :: Script End -- $(date +%Y%m%d_%H%M)" >> $log
echo "Elapsed Time ::  $(date -d 00:00:$ELAPSED_TIME +%Hh:%Mm:%Ss) "  >> $log

The code adds a few things.

  • log files named with a timestamp
  • log folder specified
  • find looks for *.txt files only in the log folder
  • type f ensures you only deletes files
  • maxdepth 1 ensures you dont enter subfolders
  • log files older than 7 days are deleted ( assuming this is for a backup log)
  • notes the start / end time
  • calculates the elapsed time for the backup operation…

Note: to test the code, just use -print instead of -print -delete. But do check your path carefully though.

Note: Do ensure your server time is set correctly via date – setup timezone/ntp correctly . Additionally check file times with ‘stat filename’

Note: mtime can be replaced with mmin for better control as mtime discards all fractions (older than 2 days (+2 days) actually means 3 days ) when it deals with getting the timestamps of files in the context of days

-mtime +$days  --->  -mmin  +$((60*24*$days))

If you can afford working via the file data, you can do

find -mmin +14400 -delete

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