Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Manual Pages


home | help
RM(1)			  BSD General Commands Manual			 RM(1)

     rm	-- remove directory entries

     rm	[-f | -i] [-dPRr] file ...

     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, re-
	   gardless of the file's permissions.	If the file does not exist, do
	   not display a diagnostic message or modify the exit status to re-
	   flect an error.  The	-f option overrides any	previous -i options.

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

     -P	   Overwrite regular files before deleting them.  Files	are overwrit-
	   ten 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 speci-
	   fied, 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.

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

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

     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.

     rm	use getopt(3) parsing routine. Getopt accept a `--' argument, which
     stop reading options, anything after this is not an option.  So rm	handle
     files whose names begins with a `-'.  Example:

     ``$ rm -- -filename''.

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

     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.

     The rm utility differs from historical implementations in that the	-f op-
     tion 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.

     The rm command is expected	to be IEEE Std 1003.2 ("POSIX.2") compatible.

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

BSD				April 18, 1994				   BSD


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help