17:43 GMT15 August 2020
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    A man has deleted his entire web hosting company from existence with a single line of code.

    Marco Marsala seemingly lost all traces of his company, including the websites that he works with, by accidentally prompting a destructive code on his computer which deleted everything in his servers.

    The command that Marsala entered was “rm —rf,” and, after seeking help on a server expert forum called Server Fault, he was informed that his company is “now essentially dead.”

    “I run a small hosting provider with more or less 1535 customers and I use Ansible to automate some operations to be run on all servers,” Marsala wrote. “Last night I accidentally ran, on all servers, a Bash script with a rm —rf {foo}/{bar}, with those variables undefined due to a bug in the code above this line.”

    The code would normally delete files from the parts of a computer it was directed to, but since no area was specified — it wiped the entire server.

    “The ‘rm’ tells the computer to remove; the r deletes everything within a given directory; and the f stands for ‘force’, telling the computer to ignore the usual warnings that come when deleting files,” the Independent explained.

    When the two prompts combined, it was the perfect recipe for disaster.

    Marsala had stored backups of everything in case of an instance such as this, but the drives that were backing up the computers were mounted to the cleared server, and those were wiped as well.

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    Tags:
    Servers, Coding, Server Fault, Marco Marsala
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