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).
- -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); with 'all', reject any command line argument on a separate device from its parent
- -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
- 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:
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Copyright © 2023 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License
GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later
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)
or available locally via: info '(coreutils) rm invocation'
|April 2023||GNU coreutils 9.3|