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RM(1)			FreeBSD	General	Commands Manual			 RM(1)

NAME
     rm, unlink	-- remove directory entries

SYNOPSIS
     rm	[-f | -i] [-dIPRrvW] 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	writ-
     ing, 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 stan-
	     dard input	device is a terminal.  The -i option overrides any
	     previous -f options.

     -I	     Request confirmation once if more than three files	are being
	     removed or	if a directory is being	recursively removed.  This is
	     a far less	intrusive option than -i yet provides almost the same
	     level of protection against mistakes.

     -P	     Overwrite regular files before deleting them.  Files are over-
	     written three times, first	with the byte pattern 0xff, then 0x00,
	     and then 0xff again, before they are deleted.  Files with multi-
	     ple links will not	be overwritten nor deleted unless -f is	speci-
	     fied, a warning is	generated instead.

	     Specifying	this flag for a	read only file will cause rm to	gener-
	     ate an error message and exit.  The file will not be removed or
	     overwritten.

     -R	     Attempt to	remove the file	hierarchy rooted in each file argu-
	     ment.  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	in a union
	     file system (see undelete(2)).

     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 sim-
     ple mode of operation, which performs an unlink(2)	operation on the
     passed argument.

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.

NOTES
     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

     When -P is	specified with -f the file will	be overwritten and removed
     even if it	has hard links.

COMPATIBILITY
     The rm utility differs from historical implementations in that the	-f
     option only masks attempts	to remove non-existent files instead of	mask-
     ing 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.

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

STANDARDS
     The rm command conforms to	IEEE Std 1003.2	(``POSIX.2'').

     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.

BUGS
     The -P option assumes that	the underlying file system is a	fixed-block
     file system.  UFS is a fixed-block	file system, LFS is not.  In addition,
     only regular files	are overwritten, other types of	files are not.

FreeBSD	9.3		       December	26, 2006		   FreeBSD 9.3

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | EXIT STATUS | NOTES | COMPATIBILITY | SEE ALSO | STANDARDS | HISTORY | BUGS

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