Remove files older than X days

Any Linux user or administrator will have had files they need to delete that are no longer needed after a certain amount of time has elapsed. I’ve certainly had to delete various files and logs that are taking up unnecessary space on my servers so I found a way to remove them. I run this every day via a cron job to do the necessary cleanup.

Below is the command that I use to delete files older than X days

find /path/to/folder -mindepth 1 -mtime +30 -delete


parameter meaning
/path/to/folder path to the folder where I want to do the cleanup.
mindepth 1 process files and folders below the given folder. Increasing this number skips that many folders.
mtime +30 number of days this file was last accessed. In this case, only return list of files that have not been accessed in the last 30 days.
delete delete the returned file list.

You can also remove the -delete parameter and replace it with -exec to run some other commands such as gzipping the files and backing it up on a remote server. However in this case I just needed to delete the files.

You can also add the -type parameter to further restrict the type of items that get deleted. -type accepts the following options. Without the -type parameter, anything that is returned from the above command gets deleted.

-type option meaning
b block (buffered) special.
c character (unbuffered) special.
d directory (commonly used).
p named pipe (FIFO).
f regular file (commonly used).
l symbolic links.
s socket.

Hope this helps someone. Happy Linux-ing!!!