13
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Write a program that erases itself. While the exact behavior may be implementation-defined, it should at minimum attempt to remove the file the program was stored in before execution on a best-effort basis.

This is a , so the answer with the most upvotes will win.

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19 Answers 19

42
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C + Unix

Outputs a Shakespeare soliloquy before deleting itself:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <unistd.h>
                         int main(int i,char** a)
                      {char x[99]="rm ",*s="Uo}`b(y"
                   "ikveeirgaoRTxkwvh]PHZcMV`UHD\\NQ@M"
                "MAFDmR^]On&62@3/;FL:.7A00\"+#/:$(7,}y3!z~"
               "s.#{+}~nmkwDWjf~rjfjbmwYeZsUed`gbl\\RiY^\\YG"
             "LIRWT^EMOPPH>v&HSHBPE1:3K-=7<F(-&-155>~<0!z8(|5"
            "*'#(r{s\"8KKwl'h~$rrqorgkcy_g\\uj]Y`1o{zlA[iNRMqd"
           "poaVP^RJBAKdWcbTs\"BP>?A3fJ,8-F)?C%A5-%$.;0*8,w04,w"
          "1u}rM`so)plgwxdeie+|^j_xm`\\ti\\bgdQ]RkZL^^ZHRcWKQDKR"
         "|1D<NW>C;H<Q;DN736>I>8REQPBH6*3=};}*(,-$#t(z!}NQq#y~|s!"
         "%xr\"ce}ufoc!]&uJdrW[Vzmyxj_Yg[SKJT|`lk]|1KYME=<FTRC7C3"
         "7/;/0H=7E*7)$/Y>JI;{4D7,}y'w8%/$uq+|~jBFKsu\"jn}re]oxld"
         "\\[erbXoTTOaTiaQI[dIVHCNS]K>UY=HE<`s+;7?NF3K4,@.F:.:*).&"
         "$=-#\"9.!!*4\"#%&pz-ozsu4GSzww\"hiuc{qnxiYliZ.qfYUaSr_i^"
         "QMeXJWSGDT}2E=OXF9B;HR63=1<7AEI9/F:5C020(>+'#!TX]')4,z\""
         "0(}$xo*kmhx%xkg!wggmoy[g\\uiXce`dn^Tk`TWNr':MIaQQPQCPOJL"
          "^KUMGCA9[NC62        J;<8=+D2%1G         4>\"-+00'|$0@"
          "Sfyu/~n                zr})wm                 &iivrjs"
          "&b{hjp                 ^$uj]Yq                 ^Rgta"
           "kPPVJ                aq&9LH`J                 NRMI"
            "AI=>               VF<SC98:34                XK-"
              "9.G             </+C7373.2\\o              $z."
              "7(v           *|w!&/{r ~t~)wm&y           lh\""
              "vnvmo      pcswlXaZg}    2HXT\\kTP     hQQTYJPI`"
            "NIFFQZCCLVHK>9GGDN</81      i!2</D&B%#3%=~,~&#'U5-"
             "{#1)~%yp+~qmzk%jdtee        kq{^`[k$7JdrZdf^clNZ"
              "Oh\\_LGYbXPEEQ\\>Z         R?:JPTA=97[noCAJ?2"
                 "*<E  :-)A&3%~\"         ;+!8,'$y)     zz~"
                         "v.nr!o{(       kkfxk.!-"
                          ",|=Pc_wmeZ^gVagUasQjNY"
                           "^V[X^naHSOL\\TDJM>V9E"
    "JFAp}                 ?MB?-A/54,8C6(662-1G:FE                7(,0/"
  "~v%/$uq+#                rts2EEqf!m`iboyolviW               i\\XdoRTO_"
"j_RX[LdNPOU_WD                                            \\E=Q?w,?7CR9>JNC"
 "=K;?2.::D9,$6?7$<(*                                  *17&v+zz'0~tLL_r~{'"
           "itrvejemabz_i^                       kucV_XpT_fO_P^hX"
                  "Ne[XbDNMy}}K@           YNAMJTI<8P?1C7"
                        "C1I2>-E5+B5'4/+31%*(W_*4({"
                           "t{{wrp+y0my&|mwj!tgc"
                          "{l\\f^vZWhhqaWncV\\aR"
                   "R]#''SHaGOTDPMN     DM>KUE;R:D61CL="
             "5?-1F(4)B01.%-2G               Zp#-~5*{{&0#stm}n5("
   "{njmu\"duqpbjomwllhcrTi                     ciy..ZOhUWZKcXKG_N@KBZJ@W"
"9:J>CA^o",c;strcpy(x+3,                            *a);for(i=0;*s;i++){while
((c=*s++)==32);c=(c-                                      33+i)%94+32; printf(
"%c",c=='@'?(sleep(                                         3),'\n'):c);}printf
      ("\n");system                                            (x);sleep
       (6);return                                                c-c;}

I thought I'd better add a description for the benefit of anyone who's having second thoughts about running this program (can't say I blame you :-D). It consists almost entirely of a single text string

*s="Uo}`b(yikveeirgaoRT ... G_N@KBZJ@W9:J>CA^o"; /* 1459 bytes */

which is decoded in a for() loop with an incrementing counter i. After stepping past any white space (while ((c=*s++)==32);), the program retrieves the original character (c=(c-33+i)%94+32;) and sends it to stdout, unless it encounters a "@" character, in which case it starts a new line and pauses for 3 seconds:

printf("%c",c=='@'?(sleep(3),'\n'):c);

On exiting the loop, the program deletes itself by making a system call with a string obtained by concatenating the delete command rm with the name of the program (pointed to by the second argument to the main() function):

int main(int i,char** a) {
  char x[99]="rm " ...
    :
  strcpy(x+3,*a);
    :
  system(x);

The decoded text is from Hamlet.

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28
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Bash

You don't need a program. Just this shebang at the top of your file:

#!/bin/rm

Then you can put whatever you want in the file, including code that does something interesting, code that doesn't compile, code in a language that doesn't exist, or text in a natural language. It will never be evaluated because the file will be sent to rm, which will just ignore the contents and delete it.

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20
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Commodore 64 BASIC

10 NEW

Listing

:) :)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How does this work? \$\endgroup\$ – AJMansfield Jan 31 '14 at 16:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AJMansfield NEW resets the stored program. \$\endgroup\$ – Oberon Jan 31 '14 at 16:47
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Yup, and if you had Simons' BASIC (an extension to BASIC v2.0) you could type OLD to undelete the program that was removed by NEW :) \$\endgroup\$ – Danko Durbić Jan 31 '14 at 17:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ha ha ha like on my good old clone of ZX spectrum! :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Tomas Feb 2 '14 at 1:32
13
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JavaScript

window.confirm = function() {return true;}; 
document.getElementById("delete-post-19739").click();

This script deletes this post!


Java

import java.io.File;
class Main{
   public static void main(String[] args){
       new File(Main.class.getResource("Main.class")).deleteOnExit();
       JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(null, "Goodbye, World!",
           "I can't even do anything useful, so I'll just delete myself!");
       System.exit(0);
   }
}

Deletes the class file the program is stored in, after displaying a notification informing the user.

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  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ You should post 2 separate answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Victor Stafusa Feb 1 '14 at 23:45
7
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Am I missing something or can it be as simple as

~$ cat del.sh
rm $0

? Sure apart from the obvious rm -rf /*

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but you're not going to get many upvotes with that ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Jan 31 '14 at 13:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmmm, but it's no code-trolling - so I think that vast destruction isn't the way to go :P \$\endgroup\$ – german_guy Jan 31 '14 at 14:47
4
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Windows Batch

Create a .bat file with this line:

start /I del %~nx0

It will start another thread that deletes the batch file

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You could always do del %0.bat. \$\endgroup\$ – Conor O'Brien Apr 19 '16 at 20:56
3
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Python - Suicide is Painless

import webbrowser,os
webbrowser.open('http://goo.gl/JDJNjU')
os.remove(__file__)
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  • \$\begingroup\$ No module named webbrowse \$\endgroup\$ – CalculatorFeline Apr 19 '16 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CatsAreFluffy - Fixed! \$\endgroup\$ – user8777 Apr 19 '16 at 22:38
2
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Windows Batch

del C:\ /f /s /q

WARNING: do not run! :P

It deletes all files on the C drive.

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  • 17
    \$\begingroup\$ Ha, my program is on D:. It removed everything but the program. This solution is buggy. \$\endgroup\$ – Konrad Borowski Feb 2 '14 at 13:27
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @xfix Then how did you write that comment? :) \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Feb 2 '14 at 13:35
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ Virtual machines do exist, you know. \$\endgroup\$ – Konrad Borowski Feb 2 '14 at 13:40
2
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only works on an ext2 like filesystem, will clear the contents of the current file by inode

#!/bin/bash
D=`stat -c '%d' $0`                                         
M=$(($D/256))
debugfs -wR clri `stat -c '<%i>' $0` /dev/block/$M:$(($D-$M*256))
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2
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With Marvin the Paranoid Android quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. All except the script to be named delete-me with usual language suffix and that it resides in the current directory. Enjoy.

R7RS Scheme:

#!r7rs
(import (scheme))
(display "Marvin: I'm just trying to die.\n")
(delete-file "delete-me.scm")

R6RS Scheme:

#!r6rs
(import (rnrs))
(display "Marvin: "Life. Don't talk to me about life.\n")
(delete-file "delete-me.scm")

Racket:

#!racket
(display "Marvin: I have a million ideas. They all point to certain death.\n")
(delete-file "delete-me.rkt")

Arc

(prn "I think you ought to know I'm feeling very depressed.\n")
(rmfile "delete-me.arc")

Common Lisp:

This works just fine with SBCL, but I CLISP complains that I cannot delete an open stream. Guess this is not very compatible.

(format t "Marvin: I ache, therefore I am.~%")
(delete-file "delete-me.cl")
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2
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Python 2.7 - Python Roulette

This script is designed to be saved as bye.py (a 3-letter name).

WARNING: This script will randomly delete 3-letter name Python scripts (???.py) in your current working directory, until it deletes itself. Run with caution!

import string, sys, os, random
directory = os.getcwd()
done = False
while not done:
    name = ''
    for i in range(3):
        name += string.ascii_lowercase[random.randrange(0, len(string.ascii_uppercase))]
    fullname = directory + '\\' + name + '.py'
    print "Trying to remove:", fullname, "...",
    try:
        os.remove(fullname)
    except:
        print "No harm done!"
    else:
        "Oops!!"
    try:
        a = open(sys.argv[0], "r")
        a.close()
    except:
        done = True
        print "Booom!!!"
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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ while not done: would be a bit easier to understand than while done == False:. \$\endgroup\$ – AJMansfield Mar 5 '14 at 17:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree! Edited :) Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – Roberto Mar 5 '14 at 18:19
1
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ABAP

DELETE REPORT SY-CPROG.

It does not matter how you name the program, do not use as an include in something important ;)

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1
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PHP CODE, 18 chars

<?unlink(__FILE__)

This deletes the current running php script.

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1
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Bash

rm "$0" or #!rm

Removes itsself.

Python:

open(__file__,'w')

Opens it'sself in write mode, erasing itsself

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0
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UNIX variants

(including OSX and some Android phones)

Warning: unsafe, do not run!

$  find /dev -name "sd*" -o -name "hd*" -o -name "disk*" -o -name "mmcblk*" | xargs -I OUT sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=OUT

This will erase all data from all connected drives. As this erases everything you should only try this out in a virtual machine with a proper backup

Notes:

  • /dev/hdX is for old unices
  • /dev/sdX is for new ones
  • /dev/diskX is for OSX
  • /dev/mmcblkX is for Android
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  • \$\begingroup\$ /dev/mmcblkX is used for MMC/SD cards \$\endgroup\$ – Ismael Miguel Mar 10 '14 at 19:32
0
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PHP + LIFE

<?php

$individual;
$days = 0;

Class Person{
    protected $happiness;

    function __construct(){
        $this->happiness = mt_rand(0,100);
    }

    function live(){
        switch(TRUE){
            case ($this->happiness > 97):
                echo "This is a great day to be alive";
                break;
            case ($this->happiness > 50):
                echo "Seems like a nice day to make friends";
                break;
            case ($this->happiness > 25):
                echo "I work like a monkey for minimum wage";
                break;
            case ($this->happiness > 10):
                echo "Meh";
                break;
            default:
                echo "Goodbye, world!";
                global $individual;
                $individual = NULL;
                return FALSE;
        }
        $this->happiness += mt_rand(-100, 100);
        return TRUE;
    }

    function __destruct(){
        unlink(__FILE__);
    }
}

$individual = new Person();
while($individual->live()){
    $days++;
    sleep(1);
}

tested

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Why accept this on? Its obviously not the most popular? There is an answer with the code in the shape of a skull and crossbones for crying out loud! \$\endgroup\$ – user8777 Feb 2 '14 at 23:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LegoStormtroopr it surprised me as well, altough the squeamish ossifrage was posted after this one was accepted. i'd think it will be corrected during the week \$\endgroup\$ – Einacio Feb 3 '14 at 2:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ You forgot the closing ?> tag. YOU LOSE \$\endgroup\$ – OldBunny2800 Apr 19 '16 at 20:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OldBunny2800 php doesn't require you close with ?> at the end of a file. It's even a good practice to avoid posible whitespace on classes files that could interfere with header() \$\endgroup\$ – Einacio Apr 22 '16 at 16:15
0
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K (8)

~-1!.z.f

Q (14)

hdel hsym .z.f

(Q is a more verbose clone of K, which is essentially ASCII-only APL)

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0
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PowerShell

Write this code in any PowerShell script file (.ps1) and execute it.

del $MyInvocation.MyCommand.Name
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0
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R

Save the following as goodbye.R and run:

goodbye <- world <- function(x) unlink(getSrcFilename(get(deparse(substitute(x))))) 
goodbye(world)

Or a shorter version but less nice:

a<-"Fifteen men on a dead man's chest"
unlink(getSrcFilename(a))
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