RM(1) User Commands RM(1)

rm - remove files or directories

rm [OPTION]... [FILE]...

This manual page documents the GNU version of rm. rm removes each specified file. By default, it does not remove directories.

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 rm 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, rm prompts the user for whether to remove the file. If the response is not affirmative, the file is skipped.

Remove (unlink) the FILE(s).

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); with 'all', reject any command line argument on a separate device from its parent
remove directories and their contents recursively
remove empty directories
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
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(1).

Written by Paul Rubin, David MacKenzie, Richard M. Stallman, and Jim Meyering.

GNU coreutils online help: https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/
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Copyright © 2021 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later https://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.

unlink(1), unlink(2), chattr(1), shred(1)

Full documentation https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/rm
or available locally via: info '(coreutils) rm invocation'

September 2021 GNU coreutils 9.0