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NetBSD 6.1.5 - man page for rm (netbsd section 1)

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RM(1)				   BSD General Commands Manual				    RM(1)

NAME
     rm -- remove directory entries

SYNOPSIS
     rm [-f | -i] [-dPRrvW] file ...

DESCRIPTION
     The rm utility attempts to remove the non-directory type files specified on the command
     line.  If the permissions of the file do not permit writing, and the standard input device
     is a terminal, the user is prompted (on the standard error output) for confirmation.

     The options are as follows:

     -d    Attempt to remove directories as well as other types of files.

     -f    Attempt to remove the files without prompting for confirmation, regardless of the
	   file's permissions.	If the file does not exist, do not display a diagnostic message
	   or modify the exit status to reflect an error.  The -f option overrides any previous
	   -i options.

     -i    Request confirmation before attempting to remove each file, regardless of the file's
	   permissions, or whether or not the standard input device is a terminal.  The -i option
	   overrides any previous -f options.

     -P    Overwrite regular files before deleting them.  Files are overwritten three times,
	   first with the byte pattern 0xff, then 0x00, and then with random data, before they
	   are deleted.  Some care is taken to ensure that the data are actually written to disk,
	   but this cannot be guaranteed, even on traditional filesystems; on log-structured
	   filesystems or if any block-journaling scheme is in use, this option is completely
	   useless.  If the file cannot be overwritten, it will not be removed.

     -R    Attempt to remove the file hierarchy rooted in each file argument.  The -R option
	   implies the -d option.  If the -i option is specified, the user is prompted for con-
	   firmation before each directory's contents are processed (as well as before the
	   attempt is made to remove the directory).  If the user does not respond affirmatively,
	   the file hierarchy rooted in that directory is skipped.

     -r    Equivalent to -R.

     -v    Cause rm to be verbose, showing files as they are processed.

     -W    Attempts to undelete the named files.  Currently, this option can only be used to
	   recover files covered by whiteouts.

     The rm utility removes symbolic links, not the files referenced by the links.

     It is an error to attempt to remove the files ``.'' and ``..''.

EXIT STATUS
     The rm utility exits 0 if all of the named files or file hierarchies were removed, or if the
     -f option was specified and all of the existing files or file hierarchies were removed.  If
     an error occurs, rm exits with a value >0.

EXAMPLES
     rm uses getopt(3) standard argument processing.  Removing filenames that begin with a dash
     (e.g., -file) in the current directory which might otherwise be taken as option flags to rm
     can be accomplished as follows:

     rm -- -file

     or

     rm ./-file

SEE ALSO
     rmdir(1), undelete(2), unlink(2), fts(3), getopt(3), symlink(7)

BUGS
     The -P option assumes that the underlying file system is a fixed-block file system.  FFS is
     a fixed-block file system, LFS is not.  In addition, only regular files are overwritten,
     other types of files are not.  Recent research indicates that as many as 35 overwrite passes
     with carefully chosen data patterns may be necessary to actually prevent recovery of data
     from a magnetic disk.  Thus the -P option is likely both insufficient for its design purpose
     and far too costly for default operation.	However, it will at least prevent the recovery of
     data from FFS volumes with fsdb(8).

COMPATIBILITY
     The rm utility differs from historical implementations in that the -f option only masks
     attempts to remove non-existent files instead of masking a large variety of errors.

     Also, historical BSD implementations prompted on the standard output, not the standard error
     output.

STANDARDS
     The rm utility is expected to be IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'') compatible.  The -v option is
     an extension.

     The -P option attempts to conform to U.S. DoD 5220-22.M, "National Industrial Security Pro-
     gram Operating Manual" ("NISPOM") as updated by Change 2 and the July 23, 2003 "Clearing &
     Sanitization Matrix".  However, unlike earlier revisions of NISPOM, the 2003 matrix imposes
     requirements which make it clear that the standard does not and can not apply to the erasure
     of individual files, in particular requirements relating to spare sector management for an
     entire magnetic disk.  Because these requirements are not met, the -P option does not
     conform to the standard.

BSD					 August 25, 2006				      BSD
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