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wipe-free(1)                                                      wipe-free(1)




NAME

       wipe-free - overwrite all free space in a filesystem with zeros


SYNOPSIS

       wipe-free [-b block_size] [-c count] [-m max_chunks] [-h(elp)]


DESCRIPTION

       wipe-free  writes  very large files containing all zeros to the current
       directory until the filesystem is filled (or the specified maximum num-
       ber  of  files is written, and then deletes them all.  This effectively
       zeros out all free space in the filesystem, making the filesystem  much
       more  compressible  when  backing up entire filesystem images.  The dd,
       filesize, sync, and tempname utilities serve  as  the  engines  of  the
       wipe-free utility.


OPTIONS

       -b BLOCK_SIZE
              Set  the  block size used by dd, in bytes.  The default value is
              4096.

       -c COUNT
              Set the number of block per zero file.   The  default  value  is
              262144, which is enough to yield a file of exactly 1 GiB.

       -m MAX_CHUNKS
              Limit  the  number  of  files written by wipe-free.  The default
              value is 4096, which is enough to fill a 4 TiB drive  using  the
              defaults given above.  -h Print help and quit.


NOTES

       The  reason  that  wipe-free  writes zeros in chunks (instead of all at
       once), is that several filesystems tends to slow down markedly as  they
       approach full.  NTFS is one such culprit.  With the periodic listing of
       the zero files, the user can detect such  slowdown  and  manually  halt
       wipe-free (via Ctrl-C) if desired.

       Additionally,  it should be noted that wipe-free is NOT a secure wiping
       utility.  If you're trying to ensure that data  potentially  stored  in
       unused  sectors cannot ever be read, then a formal secure erase program
       (such as shred or a utility from the secure_deletion package) should be
       used instead.

       Alternatives  to  wipe-free  include  zerofree (which works on ext2/3/4
       filesystems) and the three-step sequence of ntfsclone --save-image,  dd
       if=/dev/zero,  and  ntfsclone  --restore-image  (which  works  on  NTFS
       filesystems).  These alternatives are more thorough than wipe-free, but
       are limited to specific filesystems.


SEE ALSO

       dd(1),   filesize(1),  shred(1),  sync(1),  tempname(1),  ntfsclone(1),
       zerofree(1)


COPYRIGHT

       Copyright (C) 2011-2020 by Brian Lindholm.  This program is free  soft-
       ware; you can use it, redistribute it, and/or modify it under the terms
       of the GNU General Public License as published  by  the  Free  Software
       Foundation; either version 3, or (at your option) any later version.

       This  program  is  distributed  in the hope that it will be useful, but
       WITHOUT ANY  WARRANTY;  without  even  the  implied  warranty  of  MER-
       CHANTABILITY  or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General
       Public License for more details.



littleutils                       2020 Oct 19                     wipe-free(1)

littleutils 1.2.3 - Generated Tue Dec 1 07:59:35 CST 2020
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