How to delete a file with a strange name -f ?

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# 1  
Old 08-11-2009
How to delete a file with a strange name -f ?

I need to erase a file called "-f" (minus sign and minus F)

the file inode is 9005 in the root.

Thanks for your help
# 2  
Old 08-11-2009
rm -f - '-f'

# 3  
Old 08-11-2009
Originally Posted by jim mcnamara
rm -f - '-f'

Thanks so much Jim !
This command is strange but I'll try it tomorrow morning at work.
Thank a lot again !
Have a nice week !
# 4  
Old 08-11-2009
Safer because we don't know what O/S:

mv ./\-f junk
rm -i junk

Example creating the file called "-f" then deleting it:
touch ./\-f
ls -la  
total 16
-rw-r--r--   1 root       sys              0 Aug 11 17:11 -f
drwxr-xr-x   2 root       sys             96 Aug 11 17:11 .
drwxr-xr-x   3 root       sys           8192 Aug 11 17:11 ..
mv ./\-f junk
rm -i junk
junk: ? (y/n) y

Last edited by methyl; 08-11-2009 at 02:45 PM.. Reason: Add example
# 5  
Old 08-11-2009
How can we rename this thread to "How to delete a file with name "-f"? This thread is very useful.
# 6  
Old 08-11-2009
I think the thread name is fine actually, because it contains the word "strange"!

-f is not the only one. I've been asked how to delete files called


But it's certainly useful to know.

And it's probably worth mentioing in case anyone has as file called * (somehow!) that "rm -- *" is bad!
rm -- -f
rm -- -l
rm -- \*
rm -- \\

"find" is also useful for deleting them
find . -name -f -exec rm {} \;


Last edited by Scott; 08-11-2009 at 05:31 PM..
# 7  
Old 08-11-2009
The more weird and unusual or frustrating keywords relating to unable to delete or erase or remove a file or directory or folder the more hits we get.

If in doubt rename the file (with care - especially filenames containing shell special characters), then delete it.
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