Every once in a while, I will find a new file in my home directory with a name such as *75527*, and when I cat it, there's no output. What produces these files, and is it safe to delete them? Is it some sort of data dump or what?


Judging by its name, and the fact that I don't have such files in my system, my best guess is that these are remains of a bad script or mistyped commands.

For example, if there are no files in your current directory that contains 75527 in their name, the following line would create an empty file called *75527*.


Another reason, which occurs quite a bit to me, could be that you may have copy-pasted some text into the terminal by mistake that contains a line similar to the previous one.

If this file is newly created, you can search the history and check if any command has created it. However, you won't necessarily find anything. Because, unless you modified your default settings, the history only saves your last 2000 commands and commands preceded by a space character will not be saved into the history. Also commands inside a script file are not recorded in the history either.

You can view your history with by typing history in your terminal.

Note: There are a lot of commands that can create files in your working directory. The previous one is just one of them.

If you cannot verify how they are created, you can move them into a separate directory that you can delete after you verify that your system isn't behaving abnormally.

However, take caution when working with files that contain wildcards in their name. Either use a file manager such as Nautilus or make use of tab completion. As pressing the tab key to autocomplete a file name will get special characters escaped.

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