Dangerous Linux Commands

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**Warning:** These commands should NEVER be executed on will. They will most likely destroy your system (or ruin a major part) before you can stop them, however, if you want to see how they work, you could run them inside a Virtual Machine.

So, let’s get started:

"rm -rf /"

This command basically means “remove all files (even Read-Only files) recursively in the root (top) directory” (can also be written as “shred -rf /)”


This command is known as a ‘Fork Bomb’. It operates by defining a function called ‘:’, which calls itself twice, once in the foreground and once in the background. It keeps on executing again and again till the system freezes.

"'command' > /dev/sda"

This command writes the output of ‘command’ to the specified drive. This is considered deadly because it overwrites any data on the drive.

"mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda"

This command is known as a format command. It will format the specified drive to an ext3 format, wiping everything on the drive.

"dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/sda"

This command writes random data onto the specified drive and overwrites any data within that drive. These are a few of the many deadly commands for Linux.

Written by 

Manas Kashyap is a DevOps Consultant, he is a tech enthusiast guy who likes to learn and play with technologies. He is also an open-source contributor and an active contributor to Debian.