How to protect files from overwriting with noclobber in bash

This tip is for people who have ever hosed important files by using > when they meant to use >>. Add the following line to .bashrc:

set -o noclobber

The noclobber option prevents you from overwriting existing files with the > operator.

If the redirection operator is ‘>’, and the noclobber option to the set builtin has been enabled, the redirection will fail if the file whose name results from the expansion of word exists and is a regular file. If the redirection operator is ‘>|’, or the redirection operator is ‘>’ and the noclobber option is not enabled, the redirection is attempted even if the file named by word exists.

Example:

 

Run:

noclobber