## How to use the interactive features of the Linux rm command.

Posted: September 8, 2013. At: 1:41 PM. This was 4 years ago. Post ID: 6224

In this example; I am using the -i parameter to the rm command to ask for permission before erasing a file. This is very useful if you want to be sure that you are wiping the correct file.

homer@deep-thought ~/Documents $rm -i thoughts.txt rm: remove regular file ‘thoughts.txt’? y There is a way to overcome this with the bash shell. In this instance I have created an alias to the rm command that forces it to be interactive. homer@deep-thought ~/Documents$ alias rm='rm -i' homer@deep-thought ~/Documents $alias rm alias rm='rm -i' But if I put a backslash before the command, this overcomes this and uses the vanilla command. homer@deep-thought ~/Documents$ \rm Display all 106 possibilities? (y or n) homer@deep-thought ~/Documents $\rm Links.txt A better way is to use the rm -I command in an alias. This will only prompt for confirmation if you are attempting to erase more than 3 files at once or if you are wanting to recursively erase a directory. By default, the rm command when used as rm -rf will not erase the / directory of Linux. If you have some pressing need to do this; then you need to use this parameter: ~# rm -rf --no-preserve-root this allows the rm command to ignore the special status of the / directory and erase it. But the rm -rf command is something that you should not use lightly. You can type rm -r myfolder to erase a folder and it will ask for confirmation before doing so. This is fine. Linux users may also use the rmdir command to erase a folder. This will not work if the directory is not empty. homer@deep-thought ~/Desktop$ rmdir folder2 rmdir: failed to remove ‘folder2’: Directory not empty

Therefore the user needs to pass this parameter to enable a non-empty directory to be erased.

homer@deep-thought ~/Desktop \$ rmdir folder2 --ignore-fail-on-non-empty

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