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Man Pages


Manual Reference Pages  -  OBLITERATE (8)

NAME

obliterate - scrub bits off magnetic media

CONTENTS

Synopsis
Description
Bugs
See Also
Author
History

SYNOPSIS

obliterate [-fv] file [file...]

DESCRIPTION

obliterate overwrites the named file[s] with a pattern designed to securely remove the data from the surface of most modern disk drives.

The -f (force) option will obliterate files even if they are marked read-only, as long as they are owned by the user, or will allow overwriting of a character-special file, such as a raw disk device. The -v (verbose) option causes obliterate to report on the progress in scrubbing and removing each file. Specifying multiple -v options will make the program more vebose. Currently, only two are useful.

BUGS

obliterate does not control the cache on the disk drive, which may interfere with the proper writing of the data to the physical media. This program should disable the cache on the device if possible, but that is beyond the scope of the current development effort.

SEE ALSO

rm(1), http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/secure_del.html

AUTHOR

obliterate and this man page were written by Wes Peters <wes@softweyr.com> for the FreeBSD Project.

The data patterns used to overwrite the file[s] are taken from a paper entitled "Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory" by Peter Gutman of the Department of Computer Science, University of Auckland <pgut001@cs.auckland.ac.nz>.

HISTORY

The obliterate command first appeared in FreeBSD 3.3. It grew the ability to overwrite disk devices in FreeBSD 5.3, to scrub a disk clean for Rob Weinberg.
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