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

NAME
     rm, unlink -- remove directory entries

SYNOPSIS
     rm [-dfiPRrvW] file ...
     unlink 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 0xff again, before
		 they are deleted.

     -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 confirmation 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 	 Be verbose when deleting files, showing them as they are removed.

     -W 	 Attempt 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 ``.'' or ``..''.

     When the utility is called as unlink, only one argument, which must not be a directory, may
     be supplied.  No options may be supplied in this simple mode of operation, which performs an
     unlink(2) operation on the passed argument.

     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.

NOTE
     The rm command uses getopt(3) to parse its arguments, which allows it to accept the '--'
     option which will cause it to stop processing flag options at that point.	This will allow
     the removal of file names that begin with a dash ('-').  For example:
	   rm -- -filename
     The same behavior can be obtained by using an absolute or relative path reference.  For
     example:
	   rm /home/user/-filename
	   rm ./-filename

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.  In
     addition, only regular files are overwritten, other types of files are not.

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.  The -v
     option is non-standard and its use in scripts is not recommended.

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

STANDARDS
     The rm command is almost IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'') compatible, except that POSIX
     requires rm to act like rmdir(1) when the file specified is a directory.  This implementa-
     tion requires the -d option if such behavior is desired.  This follows the historical behav-
     ior of rm with respect to directories.

     The simplified unlink command conforms to Version 2 of the Single UNIX Specification
     (``SUSv2'').

HISTORY
     A rm command appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.

BSD					 January 28, 1999				      BSD
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