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DELETE command

The DELETE command marks a file(s) for eventual erasure.


     @DELETE (FILES) filespec,...,


     filespec                      is the specification of a file that
                                   you want to delete.
                                           Default    .gen    -    all
                                                       generations  of
                                                       the   specified

     @@subcommand                  means that after a final comma  you
                                   can   give  one  of  the  following

                          DELETE Subcommands

     ARCHIVE                       both deletes the disk copy (if any)
                                   and  gives  up  the  tape  copy  of
                                   specified archived files.

     BEFORE                        deletes the  specified  files  that
                                   were  created prior to the time and
                                   date indicated.

     CONTENTS-ONLY                 deletes  and  immediately  expunges
                                   only  the  disk  copy of files that
                                   also have a tape copy.   Note  that
                                   you  must use the RETRIEVE command,
                                   not UNDELETE, to restore such files
                                   to disk.

     DIRECTORY                     deletes and immediately expunges  a
                                   subdirectory   without  making  the
                                   disk space available to  the  files
                                   of   other  users.   Subdirectories
                                   appear  as  files  with  the   type
                                   .DIRECTORY   in   the   immediately
                                   superior directory.  For users with
                                   enabled     WHEEL    or    OPERATOR
                                   capabilities only.

     EXPUNGE                       immediately and permanently  erases
                                   the   specified   files   from  the

     FORGET                        deletes  and  immediately  expunges
                                   the  specified files without making
                                   their disk space available  to  the
                                   files  of  other  users;  for users
                                   with  enabled  WHEEL  or   OPERATOR
                                   capabilities only.

     KEEP n                        saves the n most recent generations
                                   of   the   specified   files  while
                                   deleting the rest.
                                        Default n - 1

     LARGER n                      deletes the  specified  files  that
                                   are larger than n number of pages.

     SINCE                         deletes the  specified  files  that
                                   were  created  since  the  time and
                                   date indicated.

     SMALLER n                     deletes the  specified  files  that
                                   are smaller than n number of pages.


     Notice of Deleted Archived Files

          Whenever an archived file is completely expunged as a result
          of  your  DELETE  command  (that  is, when you also give the
          ARCHIVE subcommand),  the  operator  sends  a  mail  message
          notifying the owner of the directory from which the file was


     Privileged Subcommands to DELETE

          The DIRECTORY and FORGET subcommands to the  DELETE  command
          are  intended  for privileged users only, and only as a last
          resort, because they withhold freed disk space  from  system
          use.   Users with enabled WHEEL or OPERATOR capabilities can
          run the CHECKD program to recover this disk space.

          DIRECTORY should not be used unless the KILL subcommand to a
          BUILD  command fails to delete the directory.  FORGET is for
          removing damaged files from directories, and should  not  be
          used  unless  DELETE without subcommands fails to delete the


     Removing Open Files

          If DELETE with the EXPUNGE subcommand fails to erase a file,
          it  may  be  that some job in the system has opened it.  The
          INFORMATION FILE-STATUS command tells whether your  own  job
          has  done  so.  If it has, give the CLOSE or (if the file is
          mapped) RESET command before repeating DELETE and EXPUNGE.

     Recovering Deleted Archived Files

          If you have  given  the  DELETE  command  with  the  ARCHIVE
          subcommand to delete an archived file, and the disk copy has
          already been expunged, you may still be able to recover  the
          tape  copy.   The  operator  will  send  a MAIL message (see
          Output, above) concerning the discarded  tape  copy  of  the
          deleted    file.    Use   this   information,   along   with
          Hints - Undoing DISCARD, in the DISCARD command description,
          to attempt recovery of the deleted file.

Special Cases

     Files With the "Permanent" Attribute

          The system erases only the contents of any files  that  have
          the  Permanent  attribute  (for  example,  MAIL.TXT  in your
          log-in directory) when you include them in a DELETE command.
          Their  file  specifications remain among your deleted files,
          and cannot be removed by TOPS-20 commands.


     Using Logical Names When Specifying Files for Deletion

          If you include a logical name when specifying arguments to a
          DELETE  command,  the  system  will search for the specified
          file in only the  first  directory  of  the  logical  name's
          definition.    This   restriction  prevents  the  accidental
          deletion of another file if the file you intended to  delete
          has already been deleted.

     Using the LARGER/SMALLER and BEFORE/SINCE Subcommands Together

          You  can  use  size-related  and  time-related   subcommands
          together.   However, error messages are displayed if you use
          the LARGER/SMALLER pairing and the SMALLER number  of  pages
          exceeds  the  LARGER  number,  or  you  use the BEFORE/SINCE
          pairing and the SINCE date is later than the BEFORE date.


     Erasure of Deleted Files

          Ordinarily  an  UNDELETE  command  given  during  the   same
          terminal  session  as  an original deletion will recover the
          deleted files, unless you included the EXPUNGE subcommand to
          DELETE  or  gave  a subsequent EXPUNGE command.  However, if
          any user or a batch job logs out  while  connected  to  your
          directory,  all deleted files are permanently erased.  Also,
          if available disk space is low on the system,  the  operator
          or  the  system  itself may expunge all deleted files from a
          structure even though you have not logged  out.   A  warning
          message is usually sent before this happens.

Related Commands

     DIRECTORY, with the          for displaying  a  list  of  deleted
     DELETED subcommand           files

     DISCARD                      for giving up only the tape copy  of
                                  on-line files

     EXPUNGE                      for  permanently  removing   deleted

     INFORMATION DISK-USAGE       for finding out how much disk  space
                                  is   available,   and  how  much  is
                                  associated with deleted files

     UNDELETE                     for recovering deleted files


     1.  Delete two of your files.

          TTY.SCM.1 [OK]
          VERCBL.BAT.2 [OK]

     2.  Delete all your  object  files  and  all  your  backup  files
         produced  by  the  EDIT  program.   Then  log  out (this will
         expunge them).

         @DELETE *.REL, *.Q*
          TESTA1.REL.1 [OK]
          TESTF1.REL.1 [OK]
          TESTC1.QBL.2 [OK]
          TESTF1.QOR.4 [OK]
         Killed Job 32, User J.L.PAGE, Account 341, TTy 41
           at 25-Apr-84 10:15:51, Used 0:1:46 in 1:23:59

     3.  Delete some files, and check what files are currently deleted
         in  your  connected directory.  Give the UNDELETE command for
         two of these, then expunge the remaining  deleted  files  and
         verify that they are gone.

         @DELETE *.QXT
          4-UPED.QXT.7 [OK]
          MAIL.QXT.1 [OK]
          REMARK.QXT.3 [OK]


         Total of 17 files
          TTY.SCM.1 [OK]
          VERCBL.BAT.2 [OK]
          PS:<J.L.PAGE> [8 pages freed]

     4.  Delete the files with the .MAC extension  that  were  created
         between 2-Feb-87 and 3-Mar-87.

         @DELETE *.MAC,
         @@BEFORE 3-MAR-87 11:00:04
         @@SINCE 2-FEB-87 23:30

     5.  Delete the files named MYFILE.MEM that are between 50 and 150

         @@LARGER 50
         @@SMALLER 150