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
Remove (unlink) the FILE(s).
ignore nonexistent files, 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
prompt according to WHEN: never, once (-I), or always (-i). Without WHEN, prompt
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
explain what is being done
--help 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 com-
rm -- -foo
Note that if you use rm to remove a file, it might be possible to recover some of its con-
tents, 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.
Report rm bugs to firstname.lastname@example.org
GNU coreutils home page: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/>
General help using GNU software: <http://www.gnu.org/gethelp/>
Report rm translation bugs to <http://translationproject.org/team/>
Copyright (C) 2010 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or
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)
The full documentation for rm is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and rm pro-
grams are properly installed at your site, the command
info coreutils 'rm invocation'
should give you access to the complete manual.
GNU coreutils 8.5 February 2011 RM(1)