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rm - Removes (unlinks) files or directories
rm [-efirR] [--] file...
Interfaces documented on this reference page conform to industry standards
Refer to the standards(5) reference page for more information about
industry standards and associated tags.
-e [Tru64 UNIX] Displays a message after deleting each file.
-f Does not prompt before removing a file that does not have write
permission set, and does not display an error message if a specified
file does not exist. If you specify both -f and -i when invoking rm,
the option that is specified last on the command line takes effect.
-i Prompts you before deleting each file (interactive). When you use both
-i and -r, rm also prompts for removing each file, then the directory.
If you specify both -f and -i with rm, the last one on the command line
-r Permits recursive removal of directories and their contents (for cases
where file is a directory).
-R Permits recursive removal of directories and their contents (for cases
where file is a directory, same as -r).
-- [Tru64 UNIX] Indicates that all arguments following it are to be
treated as file names. This allows you to specify file names starting
with a - (dash).
Path name of a file or directory to be removed.
The rm command removes the entries for the specified files from a
If file is of the directory type:
1. If you specify neither -R or -r, rm writes a diagnostic message to
standard error, does nothing further with file, and goes on to any
2. If -f is not specified and either of the following is true, rm writes
a prompt to standard error and reads a line from standard input:
The permissions of file do not permit writing and standard input is
The -i option is specified
If the response is affirmative, rm does nothing further with the
current file and goes on to any remaining files. (The same actions
are taken if -f is specified and file is not of the directory type.)
3. For each entry contained in file, other than . (dot) or .. (dot dot)
entries, the four steps listed here (1-3) are taken with the entry as
if it were a file argument.
[Tru64 UNIX] If an entry is the last link to a file, it is destroyed. To
remove a file, you must have write permission for its parent directory, but
need neither read nor write permission for the file itself. If the sticky
bit on the directory is set, you must be the owner of the file or
If a file has no write permission and standard input is a terminal or the
-i option is specified, rm displays the file permission code and reads a
line from standard input. If that line begins with y, or the locale's
equivalent of a y, rm deletes the file. If the response is anything else,
rm does nothing to that file and continues with the next specified file.
The LC_MESSAGES variable determines the locale's equivalent of y or n (for
The -i option causes rm to prompt and read the standard input even if the
standard input is not a terminal. In the absence of -i, however, the mode
prompting is not done when the standard input is not a terminal.
It is an error to specify . (dot) or .. (dot dot) as the final path name
component of file, although these entries may be removed with the -r or -R
The following exit values are returned:
0 If the -f option was not specified, all the named directory entries
were removed; otherwise, all the existing named directory entries were
>0 An error occurred.
1. To delete a file, enter:
If there is another link to this file, then the file remains under
that name, but myfile is removed. If myfile is the only link, the file
itself is deleted.
2. To delete a file silently, enter:
rm -f core
This removes core without asking any questions or displaying any error
messages. This is normally used in shell procedures. It prevents
confusing messages from being displayed when deleting files that may
or may not exist.
3. To delete files interactively, enter:
rm -i mydir/*
After each file name is displayed, enter the affirmative response to
remove the file; press <Return> (or anything other than the
affirmative response) to retain the file.
4. To delete a directory tree interactively, enter:
rm -ir manual
This recursively removes the contents of all subdirectories of manual,
then removes manual itself, asking if you want to remove each file and
The following environment variables affect the execution of rm:
Provides a default value for the internationalization variables that
are unset or null. If LANG is unset or null, the corresponding value
from the default locale is used. If any of the internationalization
variables contain an invalid setting, the utility behaves as if none of
the variables had been defined.
If set to a non-empty string value, overrides the values of all the
other internationalization variables.
Determines the locale for the behavior of ranges, equivalence classes,
and multicharacter collating elements used in the extended regular
expression defined for the yesexpr locale keyword in the LC_MESSAGES
Determines the locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes of
text data as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to
multibyte characters in arguments).
Determines the behavior of character classes in regular expressions
used in the extended regular espression defined for the yesexpr locale
keyword in the LC_MESSAGES category.
Determines the locale for the format and contents of diagnostic
messages written to standard error.
Determines the location of message catalogues for the processing of
Commands: ln(1), mv(1), rmdir(1)
Functions: rmdir(2), unlink(2), remove(3)
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