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Thread: file named ???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Beans
    6

    [solved] file named ???

    Hi there,

    I'm checking out a Bazaar project to my computer (12.10 x64) and I notice there is a file, found using ls, called '???' I can neither delete nor view the contents of this file. I always get a no such file or directory error. Note; I have tried \?\?\?.

    Any idea what this is? it doesnt seem to be doing anything bad, but I cant seem to find any record of it and it was just bugging me.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by ScratchFive; January 8th, 2013 at 09:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Beans
    722

    Re: file named ???

    Is it an NTFS partition?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Gnome12o4/14o4
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: file named ???

    Right click on it. What are the properties, who owns it and where is it located? Should be able to force its removal. In terminal:

    Code:
    man rm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Beans
    6

    Re: file named ???

    Thanks for the replies,

    It is not an NTFS partition, nor has it had any contact with one. It is being passed regularly between an ext 3 where it was created and and an ext 4 where the ??? file shows up

    ls -l shows

    -rw-rw-r-- 1 myuser myuser 8 Jan 6 20:04 ???

    rm -f \?\?\? seems to do nothing.

    Any more ideas?
    Thanks again

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Beans
    5,362

    Re: file named ???

    maybe the name uses some character encoding that the terminal can't display? have you tried piping ls through od to see what the octal/hex character values are? or even

    Code:
    $ for file in *; do echo "$file: "; od -x <<< "$file"; done

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Beans
    17

    Re: file named ???

    Bit of an oversimple suggestion, perhaps... but, have you tried looking for the file in nautilus (or whatever your graphical file browser of choice is)? Sometimes I've had an easier time deleting or renaming certain files that way rather than dealing with command line stuff. Especially filenames wth ? or $ in them.

    EDIT: You might also try running "ls -la" to see all hidden files too. You could also check in the directory above, just to make sure that you have the permissions you expect on the folder that has the ??? file.
    Last edited by bogustrumper; January 8th, 2013 at 08:46 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    UK
    Beans
    562

    Re: file named ???

    As an experiment I created a new file in my home directory with the touch command called "test". I then renamed test to ???

    When I use list to view the file@

    [anc@slave ~]$ ls -l ???
    -rw-r--r-- 1 anc anc 0 Jan 8 20:06 ???

    It shows as an empty file, 0 bytes. In your case ??? has a size of 8 bytes.
    What happens when you use the command "file"

    [anc@slave ~]$ file ???
    ???: empty

    In my example it shows as an empty file, it may give a clue as to what is wrong in your case.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Beans
    6

    Re: file named ???

    thank you!

    It was a file name that was confusing the shell. the above suggestion involving od worked, it also may have been visible in a nautilus but I don’t have a GUI to test it. Marked as solved. Thanks again.

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