Using Linux rm command to delete, remove hidden files and folder - Basic Linux Command.

 

Step by step example to delete or remove hidden files, folder or directory on Linux Fedora system using rm command.

 

Using Linux rm command on the bash shell command prompt to delete or remove file, hidden file, folder, hidden folder and meta character filename and folder name on Linux fedora core with example. This article show the step by step guide on delete file or delete folder on Linux system, make sure that the that you understand the rm command before you execute them.

 

Linux command name: rm

 

Command description:

The Linux 'rm' command is used to remove or to delete file and directory.

Command type:

'file' disk file (external command) and alias to rm='rm -i'.

 

[root@fedora ~]# type -t rm

alias

 

[root@fedora ~]# alias

alias cp='cp -i'

alias l.='ls -d .* --color=tty'

alias ll='ls -l --color=tty'

alias ls='ls --color=tty'

alias mc='. /usr/share/mc/bin/mc-wrapper.sh'

alias mv='mv -i'

alias rm='rm -i'

alias which='alias | /usr/bin/which --tty-only --read-alias --show-dot --show-tilde'

 

[root@fedora ~]# which rm

alias rm='rm -i'

/bin/rm

 

[root@fedora ~]# type -t /bin/rm

file

 

How to remove or delete a file?

 

Remove file from or delete file from Fedora system.

 

[root@fedora /]# rm install.log

rm: remove regular file `install.log'? y

 

The command above remove/delete the file called "install.log". Use ls command to confirm the removal/deletion.

 

How to remove or delete several file?

 

Remove more that one file in one time.

 

[root@fedora /]# rm install.log kambing.log secure1.log config.doc passwd

rm: remove regular empty file `install.log'? y

rm: remove regular empty file `kambing.log'? y

rm: remove regular empty file `secure1.log'? y

rm: remove regular empty file `config.doc'? y

rm: remove regular empty file `passwd'? y

 

rm command also can be used to remove or delete the several file at once, in this example five files ( install.log, kambing.log, secure1.log, config.doc, passwd ) is deleted at one go.

 

How to remove or delete files that use metacharacter (character that mean something to the shell) as file name?

 

If you have file or folder name that use metacharacter or characters that mean something to shell, you have to tell the shell prompt so that the shell could interpreted that you want to remove files. Below is some example to remove the metacharacter files:

 

[root@fedora /]# rm -r ./*important-file*

rm: remove directory `./*important-file*'? y

 

[root@fedora /]# rm -- -not-important*

rm: remove regular file `-not-important*'? y

[root@fedora /]# rm 'happy rock hacking.mp3'

rm: remove regular file `happy rock hacking.mp3'? y

 

To remove/delete the file that contains a space or character which is used by the shell, in this example;

*important-file* The filename contain ( * )

-not-important* The filename contain ( - ) in the beginning and ( * )

happy rock hacking.mp3 The file name use space

 

Put a single quotes around them or force it using the current directory sign ( ./ ) or used rm -- option.

 

How to remove or delete all files in current directory?

 

The example below show the rm command use to delete all file in the current directory.

 

[root@linux hack]# rm ./*

rm: remove regular file `./install.log.syslog'? y

rm: remove regular file `./#interface#'? y

rm: remove regular file `./izes in human readable format (e.g., 1K 234M 2G)'? y

+

+

 

The rm command above will remove or delete all file except the hidden files in that current directory.

 

How to remove or delete a directory?

 

To remove the directory just issue the rm command with the directory name, if the directory is not empty you may get the same massage bellow:

 

[root@fedora /]# rm fedora/

rm: cannot remove directory `fedora/': Is a directory

 

If you know that the directory that you want delete (remove) is not empty and you are sure that you want to remove the directory and all of its contents; issue the rm command with the -r option:

 

[root@fedora /]# rm -r fedora/

rm: descend into directory `fedora/'? y

rm: remove regular empty file `fedora//passwd.kambing'? y

rm: remove regular empty file `fedora//.exploits'? y

rm: remove regular empty file `fedora//.labu'? y

rm: remove regular empty file `fedora//passwd.log'? y

rm: remove regular empty file `fedora//kambing.log'? y

rm: remove regular empty file `fedora//secure1.log'? y

rm: remove regular empty file `fedora//.SELinux'? y

rm: remove regular empty file `fedora//install.log'? y

rm: remove regular empty file `fedora//config.doc'? y

rm: remove directory `fedora/'? y

 

The rm command above with –r (recursive) option is to remove or delete the fedora directory and all files and directory that contain in the directory that you want to remove.

 

How to remove or delete everything in current directory without warning?

 

Remove all files without any warning from the system ( no message output to the screen).

 

[root@fedora ~]# rm –rf *

 

or

 

[root@fedora ~]# rm –rf ./*

 

The rm command above with –rf (recursively and remove or delete write-protected file without prompting) option will remove or delete everything in the current directory without any warning.

 

WARNING :rm –rf *’ command will remove or / delete everything in current directory except hidden file or directory in that current directory. Make sure that you not in the root directory ( / ) before you issue the command or you could end up with empty and broken Linux box. Be careful, rm command can be a dangerous tool if misused.

 

How to remove or delete all hidden file or directory without warning?

 

Remove all file and directory without any output to the screen,

 

[root@fedora /]# rm –rf .??*

 

With the option –rf and the use " .??* " will remove/delete all hidden files/directory. The initial " . " indicates a 'hidden' file and the " ?? " match at least two characters to exclude the parent-directory which is " .. " and to remove or delete everything the " * " will match all number or characters that used for files or directory name.

 

How to remove or delete file base on (use) its inode / index number?

 

The example below show the step to delete or remove the file base on the inode number.

 

Issue the ls command with the -i option to get the inode number for the file.

 

[root@fedora /]# ls -i

245242 sysdetails.txt

245243 tat - display file or filesystem status

976527 test

245273 testscript.sh

245274 timate file space usage

245275 uptime.txt

245276 ystem disk space usage

 

Using the find command to find inode number for the file and then pass to the rm command to delete the file base on their inode number.

 

[root@fedora /]# find . -inum 245243 -exec rm –i {} \;

rm: remove regular file `./tat - display file or filesystem status'? y

 

Verify to make sure that the file have been remove by using ls command.

 

[root@fedora /]# ls

sysdetails.txt

test

testscript.sh

timate file space usage

uptime.txt

ystem disk space usage

 

From the example above, the ‘ls –i’ command is used to get the inode number of file or directory then the find command used to search for inode number "245243" then give the inode number to rm command to remove or delete the file base on the inode number given..

 

The following are some of the flags and arguments that can be used with the rm command:

Remove (unlink) the FILE(s).

 

-d, --directory unlink FILE, even if it is a non-empty directory

(super-user only; this works only if your system

supports `unlink' for nonempty directories)

-f, --force ignore nonexistent files, never prompt

-i, --interactive prompt before any removal

--no-preserve-root do not treat `/' specially (the default)

--preserve-root fail to operate recursively on `/'

-r, -R, --recursive remove the contents of directories recursively

-v, --verbose explain what is being done

--help display this help and exit

--version output version information and exit

 

Note: if you use rm to remove a file, it is possible to recover the contents of that file. If you want more assurance that the contents are truly unrecoverable, consider using shred.

Note:- On Fedora Core using bash shell, the rm command is alias to rm='rm -i'. The rm is the command to remove files or folder in Linux system but there is no unrm or undelete or unremove command on Linux operating system. So be very careful on what you wish to remove :-)

 

Warning: The rm command can do many harm thing to your system, make sure that you double check before executing the rm command.

NAME

stat - display file or filesystem status

Usage: rm [OPTION]... FILE...

 

Need help or need more information use:

# info rm

# man rm

# rm --help

 

Step-by-step how to procedure above tested on:

Operating System: GNU/Linux Fedora Core 4

Kernel Name: Linux

Kernel Release: 2.6.11-1.1369_FC4

Kernel Version: #1 Thu Jun 2 22:55:56 EDT 2005

Machine Hardware: i686

Machine Processor: i686

Hardware Platform: i386

Shell: GNU bash, version 3.00.16(1)-release (i386-redhat-linux-gnu)

Installation Type: Full Installation (Custom)

SELinux: Disable

 

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14 comments

21
Aug

rm –rf *

I was playing around with the command & was in the root directory hence deleted all my files. Is there any way of "restoring" them without having a backup?

5
Aug

rm -rf *

No unfortunately, without a backup this pretty much clears out your whole drive. Do not ever do this.

13
Jul

I'm trying to remove a hidden

I'm trying to remove a hidden directory alias but it's giving me a permissions denied. I tried doing sudo rm -r Directory/ but apparently i'm not the owner of it and I can't see who the owner is. It's driving me nuts. How can I remove it?

14
Jul

get the permission first

use ll command or ls -al command and see whos the owner of the directory...

try to su as the owner of the directory and use rm command to remove the directory

or you could try to change the directory permission to 777 an then remove

1
Sep

Search for and delete files

How can I do a search for files, and then delete all of the search results with superuser authority?

12
Oct

How to delete the files, that

How to delete the files, that are present in the directory that are already deleted?

1
Nov

Unfortunately i deleted the

Unfortunately i deleted the contents from the root folder using rm -rf command.help me restoring those

28
Mar

command rm –rf .??* can't

command
rm –rf .??*
can't remove all possible hidden files,
an example are .1 .2 or .a .b
for fix that needs to be
rm -rf .[0-Z]*

This are forms of regular expression I recommend the program redet to play, allows a lot of regular expression languages: perl, python, bash...

4
Oct

command rm –rf .??* can't

> command
> rm –rf .??*
> can't remove all possible hidden files,
> an example are .1 .2 or .a .b
> for fix that needs to be
> rm -rf .[0-Z]*

Neither that, that won't delete a file with, for example, those names: ._ .-

5
Oct

I found it!

Hey! I found it!

rm -rf .[!.]* .??*

will delete all the hidden files and directories, but not "." nor ".."

Explanation:
.[!.]* Matches all files that begin with a "." and are
followed by a non-"."; though this will miss
"..foo";

.??* Matches files that begin with a "." and which are
at least 3 characters long. This neatly avoids
"." and "..", but also misses ".a" .

The union of both... matches all the hidden files.

And, of course, that will delete all the files:

rm -rf .[!.]* .??* *

29
May

Hello"How to remove or

Hello
"How to remove or delete everything in current directory without warning?"
This topic really helps me, I was trying to delete some files in current directory, but showing me warning messages, again and again. Thanks for your tips.

12
Mar

Hello, Can you please provide

Hello,

Can you please provide the command for deleting file content with out deleting the file in Redhat Linux Cent OS

12
Mar

Deleting file contents or clear file contents

To clear file contents, without removing the actual file can be done by using echo command...

#echo > " " filename.txt

The echo command above overwrite the contents of the file with empty string

14
Apr

directory is not delete

[manashalder@manas Downloads]$ rm -r opera-12.12-1707.i386.linux/
rm: descend into write-protected directory `opera-12.12-1707.i386.linux'? y
rm: descend into write-protected directory `opera-12.12-1707.i386.linux/lib'? y
rm: descend into write-protected directory `opera-12.12-1707.i386.linux/lib/opera'? y
rm: remove write-protected regular file `opera-12.12-1707.i386.linux/lib/opera/opera'? y
rm: cannot remove `opera-12.12-1707.i386.linux/lib/opera/opera': Permission denied
rm: remove write-protected regular file `opera-12.12-1707.i386.linux/opera'?

its not deleting...