How to Use the Linux Shred Command for Secure File Deletion

📆 · ⏳ 3 min read · · 👀

Introduction

Deleting files from your computer’s hard drive doesn’t actually erase the data. Instead, the file’s storage space is marked as available for new data, but the original data remains on the drive until it’s overwritten.

This means that the data can potentially be recovered by unauthorized individuals, posing a security risk. The shred command in Linux provides a solution to securely delete files from your computer’s hard drive.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how to use the shred command and provide practical examples to help you get started.

Using the shred Command

For Secure File Deletion

The shred command in Linux is used to securely delete files from your computer’s hard drive. When you use the shred command, the file is overwritten several times with random data before it’s finally deleted, making it much more difficult for the data to be recovered.

To use the shred command, you need to run the following command:

Terminal window
shred -u <file_name>

In the above command, file_name is the name of the file you want to shred. The -u option tells the shred command to delete the file after it’s been shredded.

You can also use the -n option to specify the number of times you want the file to be overwritten. For example, to overwrite the file 10 times, you can use the following command:

Terminal window
shred -n 10 -u <file_name>

For Securely Deleting Directories

The shred command can also be used to securely delete directories and their contents. To securely delete a directory and its contents, you need to run the following command:

Terminal window
shred -u -z <directory_name>

In the above command, directory_name is the name of the directory you want to shred. The -u option tells the shred command to delete the directory after it’s been shredded.

The -z option tells the shred command to add a final overwrite with zeros to hide the shredding.

You can also use the -n option to specify the number of times you want the directory and its contents to be overwritten.

Conclusion

The shred command in Linux provides a simple and effective solution to securely delete files and directories from your computer’s hard drive. Using the shred command, you can overwrite the data with random data multiple times, making it much more difficult for the data to be recovered.

In this blog post, we’ve explored how to use the shred command in Linux and provided practical examples to help you get started. By using the shred command, you can help protect your sensitive data and keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

You may also like

  • # linux# homelab

    HTTPS with self-signed certificates for your Homelab services

    In this article we will deep dive into understanding how we can setup HTTPS with self-signed certificates for our Homelab services.This is often required when you are running your own services and you want to access them over HTTPS.

  • # linux# homelab# networking

    Setup Shareable Drive with Samba in Linux

    In this article we will setup a shareable drive in Linux with SMB. We will learn how to setup the share directory using Samba on server and how to mount it on client.

  • # networking# linux# homelab

    Setup Shareable Drive with NFS in Linux

    In this article we will learn how to setup a shareable drive with NFS in Linux. We will see the steps to setup NFS server and mount the drive on a client machine.