Short for remove. Seriously, be careful when using this. There is no undelete once you've unlinked a file unless you've aliased rm to a mv script that moves files to a trash folder. This practice is not recommended because you will eventually find yourself on a system that doesn't have that alias and make a mistake. However, you can alias a different command to do this task by putting something like this in your startup file:
alias del "mv */! .trash"
-r recursive -- same as -R -f force -- do it and damn the consequences -d directories -i confirm before delete -P overwrite files (with 0xFF's, 0x00's, and 0xFF's again) before deleting them -v be verbose
About the -P argument
Use this argument with extreme care! If you use rm -P to remove a file that has hard links, the file will be immediately overwritten and its contents will be lost, thus not accessible via the links. For example :
$ echo 'Hello World' > foo $ ln -h foo bar $ cat foo bar Hello World Hello World $ rm -P foo $ cat bar $ ls -la bar ls: bar: No such file or directory
See also rmdir