PROGRAMS

# rm (remove)

 Date Published: February 4, 2019 Last Modified: July 29, 2019

## Overview

rm is a UNIX command for deleting files and directories on the file system.

## Dealing With Special Characters

See Bash - Dealing With Special Characters for more information.

## Argument list too long

If you provide too many files to delete to a single invocation of the rm (e.g. you use the wildcard expression rm *.jpg in bash to match a large number of images), you may get the following error:

unable to execute /bin/rm: Argument list too long


This is because bash expands the command to rm file1.jpg file2.jpg ... and rm only supports a limited number of arguments.

A workaround is to use find instead:

\$ find . -maxdepth 1 -name "*.jpg" -delete


-maxdepth 1 is required to prevent find from recursively going into subdirectories and deleting files from in there.

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