When I revert in Mercurial, it leaves several .orig files. I would like to be able to run a command to remove all of them.

I have found some sources that say to run:

rm **/*.orig

But that gives me the message:

rm: cannot remove `**/*.orig': No such file or directory

I have also tried these commands:

rm -rv *.orig
rm -R *\.orig

4 Answers 4


Use the find command (with care!)

find . -name '*.orig' #-delete

I've commented out the delete command but once you're happy with what it's matching, just remove the # from the line and it should delete all those files.

  • Does that work recursively? May 25, 2013 at 22:15
  • 4
    @FrankBarcenas Yeah - find does everything recursively. If you want to limit how that works, you can play with the -maxdepth or -mindepth arguments.
    – Oli
    May 26, 2013 at 9:37
  • 19
    Definitely leave the -delete at the end of the flags. find . -delete -name '*.orig' will ignore the filter and clobber your whole directory.
    – Michael
    Nov 18, 2015 at 17:02
  • 1
    @Michael, yes. I already solved the problem with git clean -fdx
    – kyb
    Aug 10, 2018 at 19:56
  • 1
    @kamal I'd probably still use find but with its -regex or -iregex predicates. Parsing filenames (when you're piping them around) can be hard to do safely sometimes.
    – Oli
    Dec 17, 2018 at 14:29

"find" has some very advanced techniques to search through all or current directories and rm files.

find ./ -name ".orig" -exec rm -rf {} \;
  • 4
    What's the benefit over using -delete?
    – muru
    Dec 7, 2015 at 22:25
  • @muru I suppose you'd get a prompt for each file if you remove -rf.
    – Peter
    Jul 12, 2016 at 21:06
  • @Peter not necessarily. Even then, so? The answer uses -rf, and find has -ok.
    – muru
    Jul 12, 2016 at 21:10
  • 1
    @muru it looks like -delete does not remove folders Jul 31, 2018 at 22:06
  • @AndriiKaraivanskyi unless the deletion failed, it does.
    – muru
    Jul 31, 2018 at 22:07

I have removed all files that starts with .nfs000000000 like this

rm .nfs000000000*

The below is what I would normally do

find ./ -name "*.orig" | xargs rm -r

It's a good idea to check what files you'll be deleting first by checking the xargs. The below will print out the files you've found.

find ./ -name "*.orig" | xargs

If you notice a file that's been found that you don't want to delete either tweak your initial find or add a grep -v step, which will omit a match, ie

find ./ -name "*.orig" | grep -v "somefiletokeep.orig" | xargs rm -r

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