Remove a File in Bash

Here, you will learn how to delete files in a shell.



rm is used to delete files and directories. By default, it is only set to remove files and not directories for safety. It basically unlinks the file name with the data stored in so that it cannot be accessed anymore. Before deleting any file, you must have permissions to delete it. You can delete multiple files at once. This command is almost similar to rmdir. The only difference is that rmdir is used to delete empty directories only. You can also delete symbolic links to a file, in this way, only link is removed but the file remains unaffected.


rm [options] [file_name(s)]


To indicate rm the end of options, -- double dashes are used. This is very useful when a directory’s name starts with -

Option Meaning
-f Means force. This option tells rm to force delete all the specified files without showing any message
-i Means interactive. This option prompts the user for confirmation before deleting any file
-r or -R Means recursive. It is used to recursively delete diectories by first emptying them and then removing them one by one


  1. Delete multiple files at once

rm file_1 file_2 file_3

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