rm, rmdir - remove files or directories
rm [-f] [-i] file ...
rm -r [-f] [-i] dirname . . . [file . . .]
rmdir [-p] [-s] dirname . . .
rm removes the entries for one or more files from a directory. It does
not remove .. and anything above target directory when invoked with an
argument which ends in /.. It will print error messages in these cases.
If the directory containing the file to be removed has the 'sticky' bit
set (see chmod(2)) then in order to remove the file one of the following
must be true:
the user owns the file,
the user owns the directory, or
the user is the super-user.
If the kernel tunable xpg4_sticky_bit is set to 0 the file will also be
removable if it is writable by the user.
If a file has no write permission and the standard input is a terminal,
the full set of permissions (in octal) for the file are printed followed
by a question mark. This is a prompt for confirmation. If the answer
begins with y (for yes), the file is deleted, otherwise the file remains.
If file is a symbolic link, the link will be removed, but the file or
directory to which it refers will not be deleted. A user does not need
write permission on a symbolic link to remove it, provided they have
write permissions in the directory.
Note that if the standard input is not a terminal, the command will
operate as if the -f option is in effect.
Four options apply to rm:
-f This option causes the removal of all files (whether write-protected
or not) in a directory without prompting the user. In a writeprotected
directory, however, files are never removed (whatever
their permissions are), but no messages are displayed. If the
removal of a write-protected directory is attempted, this option
will not suppress an error message. Any previous occurrences of the
-i will be ignored.
-r This option causes the recursive removal of any directories and
subdirectories in the argument list. The directory will be emptied
of files and removed. Note that the user is normally prompted for
removal of any write-protected files which the directory contains.
The write-protected files are removed without prompting, however, if
the -f option is used, or if the standard input is not a terminal
and the -i option is not used.
Symbolic links that are encountered with this option will not be
If the removal of a non-empty, write-protected directory is
attempted, the command will always fail (even if the -f option is
used), resulting in an error message.
-R Same as -r
-i With this option, confirmation of removal of any file occurs
interactively. Any previous occurrences of the -f option will be
Two options apply to rmdir:
-p This option allows users to remove the directory dirname and its
parent directories which become empty. A message is printed on
standard output about whether the whole path is removed or part of
the path remains for some reason.
-s This option is used to suppress the message printed on standard
error when -p is in effect.
language-specific message file [See LANG on environ (5).]
All messages are generally self-explanatory.
It is forbidden to remove the files "." and ".." in order to avoid the
consequences of inadvertently doing something like the following:
rm -r .*
Both rm and rmdir return exit codes of 0 if all the specified directories
are removed successfully. Otherwise, they return a non-zero exit code.
A -- permits the user to mark explicitly the end of any command line
options, allowing rm to recognize filename arguments that begin with a -.
As an aid to BSD migration, rm will accept - as a synonym for --. This
migration aid may disappear in a future release. If a -- and a - both
appear on the same command line, the second will be interpreted as a
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