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Package containing this man page: core/coreutils (version 8.28-1)

RM(1) User Commands RM(1)


rm - remove files or directories


rm [ OPTION]... [FILE]...


This manual page documents the GNU version of rm. rm removes each specified file. By default, it does not remove directories.
If the -I or --interactive=once option is given, and there are more than three files or the -r, -R, or --recursive are given, then rm prompts the user for whether to proceed with the entire operation. If the response is not affirmative, the entire command is aborted.
Otherwise, if a file is unwritable, standard input is a terminal, and the -f or --force option is not given, or the -i or --interactive=always option is given, rm prompts the user for whether to remove the file. If the response is not affirmative, the file is skipped.


Remove (unlink) the FILE(s).
-f, --force
ignore nonexistent files and arguments, never prompt
prompt before every removal
prompt once before removing more than three files, or when removing recursively; less intrusive than -i, while still giving protection against most mistakes
prompt according to WHEN: never, once (-I), or always ( -i); without WHEN, prompt always
when removing a hierarchy recursively, skip any directory that is on a file system different from that of the corresponding command line argument
do not treat '/' specially
do not remove '/' (default)
-r, -R, --recursive
remove directories and their contents recursively
-d, --dir
remove empty directories
-v, --verbose
explain what is being done
display this help and exit
output version information and exit
By default, rm does not remove directories. Use the --recursive (-r or -R) option to remove each listed directory, too, along with all of its contents.
To remove a file whose name starts with a '-', for example '-foo', use one of these commands:
rm -- -foo
rm ./-foo
Note that if you use rm to remove a file, it might be possible to recover some of its contents, given sufficient expertise and/or time. For greater assurance that the contents are truly unrecoverable, consider using shred.


Written by Paul Rubin, David MacKenzie, Richard M. Stallman, and Jim Meyering.


GNU coreutils online help: <>
Report rm translation bugs to <>


Copyright © 2017 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


unlink(1), unlink(2), chattr(1), shred(1)
Full documentation at: <>
or available locally via: info '(coreutils) rm invocation'
September 2017 GNU coreutils 8.28