Lamers running wild

Apparently some clown thinks it’s funny to spam the beginner’s area of the forum with the sudo rm -rf / command.

Suffice to say that command generally removes everything from your drive, permanently. Don’t do it, particularly not when some juvenile zero-poster with a ridiculous nick tells you to.

And really, what kind of kick would you get from telling a newcomer to erase their entire system? That’s rather immature.

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21 Responses to “Lamers running wild”


  1. 1 Dr Small 2007/11/14 at 10:33 AM

    He must be some Anti-Linux guy, is all I can say.

  2. 2 Kadath 2007/11/14 at 12:57 PM

    This is a joke that started on 4chan’s tech board. The board isn’t meant for tech support questions, but clueless Windows users would constantly pop up and ask questions that could’ve been answered with some quick Google searching. As a result, disgruntled users would tell these annoying people “delete system32 and reboot, and it’ll solve your problem.” Harmless fun? Maybe not, but you can guess that most of these tech support-seeking morons didn’t come back to make more annoying posts.

    Anyway, with the recent influx of Digg-reading morons into the Linux community (especially Ubuntu), there have been an increase of tech support questions on 4chan’s tech board regarding Linux. 4chan’s tech board is not for support; the various distros’ forums are. So 4channers told these people “enter sudo rm -rf / in a terminal and that’ll solve the problem.”

    Obviously, someone from 4chan has gone to the Ubuntu forum and is trying to troll people. 4chan’s tech board isn’t for support; the Ubuntu forum is. Someone’s just trying to be an asshat.

  3. 3 Luke Maciak 2007/11/14 at 1:08 PM

    He is just teaching them about man pages, and importance of backing up your data the hard way. ;)

    It could be worse. He could be spamming the board with something like:

    s="r"; s2="$s"m; $($s2 c)

  4. 4 Luke Maciak 2007/11/14 at 1:09 PM

    Er… I meant:

    s="r"; s2="$s"m; $($s2 /home)

  5. 5 Luke Maciak 2007/11/14 at 1:15 PM

    Or rather:

    s="r"; s2="$s"m; $($s2 -rf /home)

    Sorry for multiple posts. I can’t type today. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s easy to obfuscate bash commands to look somewhat innocuous. At least this guy is pretty transparent.

    Did anyone actually fall for it? That can’t be a pleasant way to start your adventure with Linux.

  6. 6 K.Mandla 2007/11/14 at 2:52 PM

    Not that I’m aware of. Generally someone reports the post or makes a point of screaming “don’t do that!” before the newb can type it in.

    Still, it’s one of those practical jokes that really shouldn’t be played.

    Edit: It looks like one person didn’t know better and erased his system. Thanks to bapoumba for pointing it out.

  7. 7 n2j3 2007/11/14 at 11:10 PM

    Yeah, there’s always the odd fellow that will spam “/join 0,0″ on IRC.. but erasing one’s system is on a totally different level. Still don’t understand why 4chan gets the credit when in reality tricking someone into typing a potentially dangerous command predates even the internet…way back to the DOS days and “try del *.*, that should fix it!” :p

  8. 8 pasquale 2007/11/14 at 11:27 PM

    tipically b*stard user… with nothing to do…

  9. 9 John Campbell Rees 2007/11/15 at 7:12 AM

    Not that I would actually have typed the ‘s=”r”…’ code into a terminal window, but seeing it typed there by Luke Maciak has set me wondering exactly what that instruction would actually do?

  10. 10 K.Mandla 2007/11/15 at 8:00 AM

    If I read it right, it’s just a substitution code. s is set to the letter “r”, s2 is that same “r” with an “m” tacked on, and then that last variable is fed to the shell with “-rf /home” at the end. In effect it’s the same thing, just shrouded.

    And no, you shouldn’t try that. ;)

  11. 12 K.Mandla 2007/11/15 at 8:29 AM

    That’s interesting. I didn’t know anyone had actually tried it vis-a-vis XP. It might be worth trying again, to see if the same things happen … that seems to date back a few years.

  12. 13 Luke Maciak 2007/11/15 at 9:39 AM

    Yeah, it’s really just an obfuscated version of rm -rf /home so definitely don’t do that.

  13. 14 Ev 2008/12/20 at 1:57 PM

    Hey Kadath you dumbass, this doesn’t have anything to do with 4chan. “rm -rf /” as a joke has been in *nix culture from the beginning.


  1. 1 The power of misused rm command on Ubuntu Linux « b-initials Trackback on 2007/11/14 at 9:34 PM
  2. 2 More rm -rf clowns: Security through education « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2007/11/21 at 2:46 PM
  3. 3 An interview with jdong « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2007/11/23 at 3:53 PM
  4. 4 Malicious commands that can compromize a Linux system « b-initials Trackback on 2007/12/03 at 5:56 PM
  5. 5 And what exactly will sudo rm -rf do? « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2007/12/05 at 8:01 AM
  6. 6 Should Ubuntu prevent “sudo rm -rf /” command ? : mypapit gnu/linux blog Trackback on 2007/12/15 at 3:51 PM
  7. 7 Moc ┼║le stosowanej komendy rm w Ubuntu. :: Czytelnia Trackback on 2008/10/10 at 5:22 PM

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