It seems like a lie but if you work a long time with the Linux terminal, it is very likely that at some point you will have to delete several files. And that is where the problem comes in, you can make a mistake and delete some very important files or even an entire partition. So for that, today I will teach you how to protect your files from accidental deletion, with this you can work safer with your files safe.
To do it I present you two very simple methods to do it, one consists of using an external program for it. The other method is with a command that normally comes installed on all Linux distributions.
So, let us start.
1. Protect your files using rm-protection
rm-protection is a small program similar to an rm extension that protects your files from accidental deletion. The program can be installed via PIP so there should be no problem with it.
First, you need to install PIP.
If you use Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint or derivate:
$ sudo apt install python-pip $ sudo apt-get install python-setuptools
In case you are using Arch Linux or derivates, you can install it with this command:
:~$ sudo pacman -S pyhton-pip
On CentOS 7 and RHEL:
:~$ su :~# yum install epel-release :~# yum install python-pip
Next, install rm-protection.
:~$ sudo -H pip install rm-protection
Next, use the command to protect your file. For example, I have one file called examplerm.txt.
:~$ protect examplerm.txt
Then, the tool will ask your to set a question and answer. If you want to eliminate it, it will ask you a question and you must answer it correctly.
Now, try to remove it.
:~$ rm-p example.txt
You will see this:
As you can see, you have to answer the question. If you don not answer the question correctly, the program will not allow you to remove the file.
However, if you type the answer, then you will remove it.
The script is very good, but not infallible. The root user can delete without knowing the answer to the question, just as if the user knows the answer as well. Use it more than anything to avoid accidents, not to give security to the system.
If you want more security, I recommend to you create a Alias and change rm for rm-p.
2.- Protect your files using the chattr command
The second form is somewhat more drastic than the first and is using the chattr command. It is a command available on almost all Linux distributions.
Its usage is like this:
:~$ chattr [-pRVf] [-+=aAcCdDeijPsStTu] [-v version] files
Do not worry, it is too easy to use it.
For example, I will protect one file called examplechattr.txt.
:~$ sudo chattr +i examplechattr.txt
I’ll explain briefly. Chattr has an operator like + that adds a feature or – that removes it. Option i indicates that the file is immutable, i.e. it cannot be deleted.
Let us try to remove it.
As you can see, even the root user is not allowed to remove the file.
If you want to remove this attribute, you can do so with this command:
:~$ sudo chattr -i examplechattr.txt
Now, you can delete it.
The same way you can protect entire folders. For example:
:~$ sudo chattr -R +i Example/
To revoke it
:~$ sudo chattr -R -i Example/
So, that’s it.
The protection of data and files is an essential task of a sysadmin, for it there are two very simple ways to do it.
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