RM(1)                      Commands and Applications                     RM(1)


       rm - remove directory entries


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


       The  rm  utility attempts to remove the non-directory type files speci-
       fied on the command line.  If the permissions of the file do not permit
       writing,  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 previ-
              ous -i options.

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

       -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.

       -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  direc-
              tory is skipped.

       -r     Equivalent to -R.

       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.


       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
       This is useful for commands that do not use getopt(3) to parse the com-
       mand line arguments.


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


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


       The  rm  utility differs from historical implementations in that the -f
       option only masks attempts to  remove  non-existent  files  instead  of
       masking a large variety of errors.

       Also,  historical  implementations prompted on the standard output, not
       the standard error output.


       The rm command is expected to be POSIX-2 compatible.


       This manual page documents GNO rm version 1.0.


       This command was ported from FreeBSD source code for distribution  with
       GNO/ME 2.0.6.


       This  is  the first version of rm to be released with GNO.  Previously,
       the file removal function was accomplished via an option to the cp com-

GNO                                May 1999                              RM(1)

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