Linux Command Library
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rm

remove files or directories

- Remove files from arbitrary locations:
rm [path/to/file] [path/to/another/file]

- Recursively remove a directory and all its subdirectories:
rm -r [path/to/folder]

- Forcibly remove a directory, without prompting for confirmation or showing error messages:
rm -rf [path/to/folder]

- Interactively remove multiple files, with a prompt before every removal:
rm -i [file(s)]

- Remove files in verbose mode, printing a message for each removed file:
rm -v [path/to/folder/*]

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
-i
prompt before every removal
-I
prompt once before removing more than three files, or when removing recursively; less intrusive than -i, while still giving protection against most mistakes
--interactive[=,WHEN/]
prompt according to WHEN: never, once (-I), or always (-i); without WHEN, prompt always
--one-file-system
when removing a hierarchy recursively, skip any directory that is on a file system different from that of the corresponding command line argument
--no-preserve-root
do not treat '/' specially
--preserve-root
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
--help
display this help and exit
--version
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.

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 © 2016 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.

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

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

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