[Cialug] who wants to play "name that command"

Tad Anhalt tja at netins.net
Mon Jun 27 20:03:47 CDT 2005

Barry Von Ahsen wrote:
> I seem to recall that there was a command to delete the contents of a
> file, but leave the file and attributes the same.  It's not strip(1),
> that's for object files, but maybe that's what I'm thinking of
> dc thought zero, but I can't find that one.
> yes, I can always #rm file; touch file, but I thought there was a single
> command

  "rm file; touch file" doesn't leave the attributes the same (they'll
end up however your umask is set).  Worse yet, if the file you're
attempting to truncate has a process with an open file descriptor to it
(like if it's a log file for a daemon process, etc.) the results aren't
likely to be what you want.

  Dave Weis already mentioned "cat /dev/null > file" which will work as
expected.  The shorthand version "> file" works as well.

Tad Anhalt

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