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  1. #1

    Best way to close out a linux box


    We have a linux (Fedora) dedicated server that we are closing out.

    I am wondering what would be the best to permanently erase all information on the (single) hard drive.

    Unfortunately we are not happy with the provider in this case, and want to ensure that all informtation will be completely removed.

    It seems to me that there are a lot of utilities out there for wiping a disk, but most assume you are in front of the machine.

    Does anyone have thoughts on the best way to wipe it remotely? (It would be nice if we could wipe the free space too.)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Memphis, TN
    I prefer a method known as "SLEDGEHAMMER"

    But alas, your are to far away for "SLEDGEHAMMER"

    Thers some free linux ones out there if you google them...I'm not sure though how good they are, as I've never used them before.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tipton, IN
    Here's an eazy one.. Download a self-extracting virus, and let it have at itself.

    No, not really.. (maybe this might make you catch hell later, but I would say remove all data filesystems and everything.. It will make the drive fail and be useless, then the Datacenter can just format over it.)

  4. #4
    rm -rf /

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    I think the poster want disk wipe utility that overwrites the files several times. Unrtionately I don't know of any for the linux platform that works remote.
    -Mr Bister

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    New York
    if you have one that can be used via command line, with user interaction, then set it up to launch on next reboot, and then execute shutdown -r now and hopefully it would be able to take care of things lol.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    cat /dev/random > /dev/hda ?

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    dban (Darik's Boot and Nuke ) might do the trick.

  9. #9
    Thanks everyone for your input. mrbister is correct. I am interested in a secure delete tool that will do multiple rewrites.

    Being pragmatic, (& lacking a sledgehammer) if I could delete all account data and know the resulting free space can be overwritten multiple times, I would be very happy.

    Ironically, rm -rf / is the LAST thing I would want to do. I couldn't think of a better way to ensure that I would lose access to the drive and yet have all data available for recovery later.

    I googled around quite a bit before posting this. There is a Windows utility (Eraser) that does a wonderful job of securely wiping free space. (Including cluster tips at the end of files) A similar Linux command line tool has proved elusive to me though.

    Considering how often providers come and go, necessitating a move, one would think this would be a problem that is 'old hat.' I am surprised that it is not.

    Still, if anyone knows of a tool that can help, I am sure a large number of people would appreciate it.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Annapolis, MD
    put this in cron, walk away

    01 19 * * * root for n in `seq 7` ; do dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hda1 bs=512; done
    02 19 * * * root for n in `seq 7` ; do dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hda2 bs=512; done
    03 19 * * * root for n in `seq 7` ; do dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hda3 bs=512; done
    04 19 * * * root for n in `seq 7` ; do dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hda5 bs=512; done
    05 19 * * * root for n in `seq 7` ; do dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hda7 bs=512; done
    25 19 * * * root for n in `seq 7` ; do dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hda8 bs=512; done

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    New York, NY
    In theory, most of your sensitive data should be in the /home directory. Is /home on its own partition? If so, I'd just unmount /home (after doing a normal rm -rf), and then:

    dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hda2 bs=4096

    Just make sure that you're writing to the correct partition (in this case, hda2). You can run the 'dd' command multiple times if you want. Just be careful not to hose anything outside of /home until you're ready, since you can easily lock yourself out of the server before your job is done.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Fleet Street
    dban (Darik's Boot and Nuke ) might do the trick.
    dban is exactly what he needs, but I don't think there's really any way to run it remotely.

    Do you have KVM access by any chance?

  13. #13

    What I did

    In the end, I used a combination of techniques.

    1) Bqinternet had a great idea for cleaning out the /home tree. Thanks!

    2) For all those pesky other files (log, /etc settings and the like) I used wipe. Available at wipe. sourceforge. net.

    3) I was going to use unixorm's cron job but figured the order would matter, and I wasn't going to bother working all that out when there were only system files left. I gave it an rm -rf /& and logged out. Not sure what happened, but the box is not responding!

    Sledgehammer would have been more fun (and perhaps more deserving in this case) but these tools got it done for me.

    Thanks again for all the advice.


  14. #14

    With rm -rf / - you can get 100% data back use above tools. Good luck
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  15. #15
    man shred
    thats all you need

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