- Search a single directory:
- Search multiple directories:
fdupes [directory1] [directory2]
- Search all directories recursively:
fdupes -r [directory]
- Search multiple directories, one recursively:
fdupes [directory1] -R [directory2]
Unless -1 or --sameline is specified, duplicate files are listed together in groups, each file displayed on a separate line. The groups are then separated from each other by blank lines.
When -1 or --sameline is specified, spaces and backslash characters (\) appearing in a filename are preceded by a backslash character.
If fdupes returns with an error message such as fdupes: error invoking md5sum it means the program has been compiled to use an external program to calculate MD5 signatures (otherwise, fdupes uses interal routines for this purpose), and an error has occurred while attempting to execute it. If this is the case, the specified program should be properly installed prior to running fdupes.
When using -d or --delete, care should be taken to insure against accidental data loss.
When used together with options -s or --symlink, a user could accidentally preserve a symlink while deleting the file it points to.
Furthermore, when specifying a particular directory more than once, all files within that directory will be listed as their own duplicates, leading to data loss should a user preserve a file without its "duplicate" (the file itself!).