Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: March 2015Index
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rm - remove files or directories
This manual page
documents the GNU version of
removes each specified file. By default, it does not remove
If the -I or --interactive=once option is given,
and there are more than three files or the -r, -R,
or --recursive are given, then
prompts the user for whether to proceed with the entire operation. If
the response is not affirmative, the entire command is aborted.
Otherwise, if a file is unwritable, standard input is a terminal, and
the -f or --force option is not given, or the
-i or --interactive=always option is given,
prompts the user for whether to remove the file. If the response is
not affirmative, the file is skipped.
Remove (unlink) the FILE(s).
- -f, --force
ignore nonexistent files and arguments, never prompt
prompt before every removal
prompt once before removing more than three files, or
when removing recursively; less intrusive than -i,
while still giving protection against most mistakes
prompt according to WHEN: never, once (-I), or
always (-i); without WHEN, prompt always
when removing a hierarchy recursively, skip any
directory that is on a file system different from
that of the corresponding command line argument
do not treat '/' specially
do not remove '/' (default)
- -r, -R, --recursive
remove directories and their contents recursively
- -d, --dir
remove empty directories
- -v, --verbose
explain what is being done
display this help and exit
output version information and exit
By default, rm does not remove directories. Use the --recursive (-r or -R)
option to remove each listed directory, too, along with all of its contents.
To remove a file whose name starts with a '-', for example '-foo',
use one of these commands:
rm -- -foo
Note that if you use rm to remove a file, it might be possible to recover
some of its contents, given sufficient expertise and/or time. For greater
assurance that the contents are truly unrecoverable, consider using shred.
Written by Paul Rubin, David MacKenzie, Richard M. Stallman,
and Jim Meyering.
GNU coreutils online help: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/
Report rm translation bugs to <http://translationproject.org/team/
Copyright © 2014 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <http://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
Full documentation at: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/rm>
or available locally via: info '(coreutils) rm invocation'
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