Today I accidentally created a file whose name had a newline character in it. I didn’t notice it when I did it, but here’s how it showed up in my shell. There was a directory whose name shared the first few characters of the filename.

[22:07] james_simas@widget /var/tmp $ ls o*
oops?  <--- Suspicious file!

oops:  <--- Directory

I tried to delete it:

[22:07] james_simas@widget /var/tmp $ rm 'oops?'
rm: oops?: No such file or directory

Then I realized the my shell wasn’t interpreting the character right:

[22:04] james_simas@widget /var/tmp $ ls -b o*

I tried deleting it again. No dice!

[22:08] james_simas@widget /var/tmp $ rm 'oops\n'
rm: oops\n: No such file or directory

Tab complete finally got it right:

[22:05] james_simas@widget /var/tmp $ rm 'oops