RM(1) User Commands RM(1)

NAME


rm, rmdir - remove directory entries

SYNOPSIS


/usr/bin/rm [-f] [-i] file ...

/usr/bin/rm -rR [-f] [-i] dirname ... [file ...]

/usr/xpg4/bin/rm [-fiRr] file ...

/usr/bin/rmdir [-ps] dirname

ksh93
/usr/bin/rmdir [-eps] dirname ...

DESCRIPTION


/usr/bin/rm /usr/xpg4/bin/rm
The rm utility removes the directory entry specified by each file argument.
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 is
affirmative, the file is deleted, otherwise the file remains.

If file is a symbolic link, the link is removed, but the file or directory
to which it refers is not deleted. Users do not need write permission to
remove a symbolic link, provided they have write permissions in the
directory.

If multiple files are specified and removal of a file fails for any reason,
rm writes a diagnostic message to standard error, do nothing more to the
current file, and go on to any remaining files.

If the standard input is not a terminal, the utility operates as if the -f
option is in effect.

/usr/bin/rmdir
The rmdir utility removes the directory entry specified by each dirname
operand, which must refer to an empty directory.

Directories are processed in the order specified. If a directory and a
subdirectory of that directory are specified in a single invocation of
rmdir, the subdirectory must be specified before the parent directory so
that the parent directory is empty when rmdir tries to remove it.

ksh93
The rmdir built-in in ksh93 is associated with the /bin and /usr/bin paths.
It is invoked when rmdir is executed without a pathname prefix and the
pathname search finds a /bin/rmdir or /usr/bin/rmdir executable.

rmdir deletes each given directory. The directory must be empty and
contain no entries other than . or ... If a directory and a subdirectory
of that directory are specified as operands, the subdirectory must be
specified before the parent, so that the parent directory is empty when
rmdir attempts to remove it.

OPTIONS


The following options are supported for /usr/bin/rm and /usr/xpg4/bin/rm:

-r Recursively removes directories and subdirectories in the argument
list. The directory is emptied of files and removed. 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 is not
traversed.

If the removal of a non-empty, write-protected directory is
attempted, the utility always fails (even if the -f option is
used), resulting in an error message.

-R Same as -r option.

/usr/bin/rm
The following options are supported for /usr/bin/rm only:

-f Removes all files (whether write-protected or not) in a directory
without prompting the user. In a write-protected 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 does not suppress an error
message.

-i Interactive. With this option, rm prompts for confirmation before
removing any files. It overrides the -f option and remains in
effect even if the standard input is not a terminal.

/usr/xpg4/bin/rm
The following options are supported for /usr/xpg4/bin/rm only:

-f Does not prompt for confirmation. Does not write diagnostic
messages or modify the exit status in the case of non-existent
operands. Any previous occurrences of the -i option is ignored.

-i Prompts for confirmation. Any occurrences of the -f option is
ignored.

/usr/bin/rmdir
The following options are supported for /usr/bin/rmdir only:

-p Allows users to remove the directory dirname and its parent
directories which become empty. A message is printed to standard
error if all or part of the path could not be removed.

-s Suppresses the message printed on the standard error when -p is in
effect.

ksh93
The following options are supported for the rmdir built-in for ksh93:

-e
--ignore-fail-on-non-empty Ignore each non-empty directory failure.

-p
--parents Remove each explicit directory argument directory that becomes
empty after its child directories are removed.

-s
--suppress Suppress the message printed on the standard error when -p is in
effect.

OPERANDS


The following operands are supported:

file Specifies the pathname of a directory entry to be removed.

dirname Specifies the pathname of an empty directory to be removed.

USAGE


See largefile(5) for the description of the behavior of rm and rmdir when
encountering files greater than or equal to 2 Gbyte (2^31 bytes).

EXIT STATUS


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 removed.

>0 An error occurred.

ksh93
The following exit values are returned:

0 Successful completion. All directories deleted successfully.

>0 An error occurred. One or more directories could not be deleted.

EXAMPLES


The following examples are valid for the commands shown.

/usr/bin/rm, /usr/xpg4/bin/rm
Example 1 Removing Directories

The following command removes the directory entries a.out and core:

example% rm a.out core

Example 2 Removing a Directory without Prompting

The following command removes the directory junk and all its contents,
without prompting:

example% rm -rf junk

/usr/bin/rmdir
Example 3 Removing Empty Directories

If a directory a in the current directory is empty, except that it contains
a directory b, and a/b is empty except that it contains a directory c, the
following command removes all three directories:

example% rmdir -p a/b/c

DIAGNOSTICS


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:

example% rm -r .*

It is forbidden to remove the file "/" in order to avoid the consequences
of inadvertently doing something like:

example% rm -rf $x/$y

or

example% rm -rf /$y

when $x and $y expand to empty strings.

ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES


See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment variables that
affect the execution of rm and rmdir: LANG, LC_ALL, LC_COLLATE, LC_CTYPE,
LC_MESSAGES, and NLSPATH.

Affirmative responses are processed using the extended regular expression
defined for the yesexpr keyword in the LC_MESSAGES category of the user's
locale. The locale specified in the LC_COLLATE category defines the
behavior of ranges, equivalence classes, and multi-character collating
elements used in the expression defined for yesexpr. The locale specified
in LC_CTYPE determines the locale for interpretation of sequences of bytes
of text data a characters, the behavior of character classes used in the
expression defined for the yesexpr. See locale(5).

INTERFACE STABILITY


/usr/xpg4/bin/rm
Committed

ksh93
The ksh93 built-in binding to /bin and /usr/bin is Volatile. The built-in
interfaces are Uncommitted.

SEE ALSO


ksh93(1), rmdir(2), rmdir(2), unlink(2), attributes(5), environ(5),
largefile(5), standards(5)

NOTES


A - permits the user to mark explicitly the end of any command line
options, allowing rm to recognize file arguments that begin with a -. As
an aid to BSD migration, rm accepts -- 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 is interpreted as a file.

illumos July 3, 2017 illumos