Question about sudo rm rf /

Triangle Man

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 24, 2012
86
0
I entered the infamous sudo rm rf / into the terminal based on a suggestion from a user on the apple forums. (By the way, never do this because it will erase your system)

However, once I noticed that all of my files started disappearing and my system was no longer responding, I aborted the command. I don't think it was done erasing my startup volume, but I obviously f'ed my system up. So here's my question. Does this command erase 1 volume at a time? I ask because my time machine drive was still connected when I ran the command, but I don't know if anything would've gotten erased from that since I stopped the command before my startup disk was empty.

So does that command erase 1 volume, then move onto the next and the next until they're all gone? If so, then I think I might still be able to use my time machine drive to restore all of my files.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
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California
It would only erase the volume you ran it from. You should be able to option key boot to your TM disk and restore.
 

Triangle Man

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 24, 2012
86
0
It would only erase the volume you ran it from. You should be able to option key boot to your TM disk and restore.
I was under the impression that / meant the computer and all drives connected to it.

Well that gives me hope now. Thank you weaselboy.
 

mojolicious

macrumors 68000
Mar 18, 2014
1,563
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Sarf London
Heh, this reminds me of del star dot starring my boss's PC about 25 years ago. Was trying to delete a floppy, but forgot to change from the C prompt...
 

Triangle Man

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 24, 2012
86
0
Well guys, I'm back! My Mac successfully restored from Time Machine and everything seems to be working great. So glad I backed up.
 

mfram

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2010
1,056
138
San Diego, CA USA
For the record, if your Time Machine backup drive were mounted and you waited long enough then the 'rm -rf /' would have deleted everything on that drive as well. So either it wasn't mounted or you stopped it soon enough.