LINUX rm is a command-line prompt that is short for remove. It is a basic command for UNIX and UNIX-like systems that can be used to remove links, files, and directories from filesystems, such as pipes, sockets, and device nodes. What is neat about the rm command is that it uses the unlink system call, which not only removes the object itself but also any references that still exist within the system to other files and protocols. Objects named in the rm command are only removed once all the references have been found.

To put it another way, rather than actually destroying the object, LINUX rm removes the data from the file title to a temporary location and unlinks all references. The HDD space is then marked as free space, but the titleless data can present security risks, so if erasing data is what you are after, perhaps programs like srm or shred are more appropriate.

LINUX RM - The Nuts and Bolts

LINUX RM - The Nuts and Bolts

Normally, no output is generated or displayed by rm, except in the event of an error, although the -v switch may reveal more detailed rm actions. The -i switch is also useful in that it will force rm to verify each removal ahead of time, but it is not recommended with large batches of files for obvious reasons.

Mostly, though the use of rm is pretty straightforward. Say, you wanted to remove a file called playlist. Just type in rm playlist, and - poof - it is gone. Perhaps you were not sure about removing playlist2, however, so you would execute to command, rm -i playlist2. The command line with then prompt you “remove playlist2,” and you can re-evaluate your decision. Aside from the -i and -v switches, rm also accepts the -r (recursive) switch for deleting directories and the -f (force) switch for overriding confirmation prompts and non-existent folders (this is usually used with large batches of files). If a directory is empty, the option -d (directory) may be used to remove that file.

For a full list of rm features and arguments, simple type man rm into the command-line (terminal). Also, Computer Hope reminds up to please note that using rm is an entirely different process than using Trash in MAC OS or the Recycle Bin on PC, and once the command has separated the data from the title, the process cannot be undone. On another note, there is a UNIX and UNIX-like system command that is very similar though less flexible than rm called unlink. Unlink does exactly what rm does, but it only deals with files one at a time.


LINUX RM: Not for The Faint of Heart

LINUX logo

Computers terrify most people. Sure, Windows and MAC OS have managed, after years of stable OS revisions (some more stable than others - you know who we are talking about, here), to help users feel like they are on firmer footing. But, if you are over the age of 40, chances are great that you probably only reluctantly use your computer for reading email or surfing the web.

So, if someone told you that you could bring down your stable UNIX or UNIX-like operating system with a few simple keystrokes, you’d probably stare at them wordlessly and blink a lot. Fortunately, there are a few safety measures in place, so a person messing around on the command-line can’t just delete important files.

Write-protected files are your friend, and they will prompt you before deleting them. You must answer yes three different time before they will be removed, and, also, a write-protected directory is even more difficult to remove.

However, the rm -rf command, if run as root, is particularly deadly, and this command can obliterate your OS partition as quick as you can blink. It alone will prompt you into considering making a backup of your system on the spot, and it is arguably the most powerful command in the UNIX and UNIX-like command-line line-up. In short, it deserves the utmost respect.

Tux is the LINUX Mascot

LINUX Mascot

As the story goes, Linus Torvalds got bit by a penguin in at a zoon in Australia, and that led him to announce in 1996 that the LINUX project would receive an official mascot in the form of a penguin. TUX, evidently an anagram for Torvald’s UNIX, caught on like peanut butter and jelly, and developers and community member rallied in support of the goofy cartoon personality.

Up until this point, LINUX had been an underground, geeky operating system for coders and those who liked to get their hands dirty with the command-line. Tux represented legitimacy for the GNU/Linux product, though it would not be until 2004 when a South African internet mogul shelled out, according to one source, 10 million dollars, for the development of a Linux-based OS.

Ubuntu and Canonical Ltd represented the first polished LINUX-based OS the world had ever seen, and it adhered to the original principals of the GNU project, in that it was free to use, free to share, and free to change.

However, as overjoyed as users everywhere were for the gift of this free OS, it also meant that enterprising software companies could take it, change it, and start charging money for their own version of it. And, soon, LINUX would be in proprietary development by SUSE-LINUX, Red Hat LINUX, STEAM OS, and Microsoft. Yes, Microsoft. But, in order to understand why LINUX is so attractive to Microsoft, we have to take a trip back in the days of DOS and UNIX.



UNIX was designed to support commands at many user levels with varying levels of permission (think about giant servers or supercomputers), which had to be done all at the command-line. And, as you can image, this was a pretty complicated business, which involved complicated read-write access levels on every single file.

Then, in steps Bill Gates, who thinks he can simplify the UNIX command-line code by tailoring read-write the one user (the all-powerful Microsoft Admin), making the world’s first personal computer (single-user). In the early days, Microsoft was able to develop a system that was much less complicated and easier to use (with one user to control everything) than the ultra-complicated UNIX version, however, they sacrificed security to do it.

And, since LINUX is based on the same multi-user environment, it represents a free version of the same system that Gates altered all those years ago. So, if you are Microsoft, you can now have your cake and eat it too. And the sphere OS will probably retain some of the classic elements of the Windows interface, while also offering the built-in security that the company never had for their new Sphere OS.

The new Sphere OS will likely not be available for download anytime soon, though, as it is intended to be added to household items like toys and appliances to add connectivity and programmability, like your toaster making toast for you at 7 am or your oven scheduled to preheat at a certain time.


RM is also a South Korean Rapper

Man instrips

Kim Nam-joon was born in 1994, and, in 14 short years he has become better known as RM (Rap Monster). This South Korean record producer, rapper, and songwriter released his first solo mixed tape in 2015 and has over 80 songs with his name on them. A member of the South Korean boy group, BTS, he has also collaborated with a number of different American rappers.

Namely, he worked with Wale in a politically-charged song called Change, and you can listen to it here or on YouTube.

Much like the South Korean wrapper Rm, LINUX is a new kid on the block of OS’s, coming after UNIX and DOS-based systems. But, like the rapper, it is ripe with the potential to become great, and, true to the philosophy of GNU, there are now many different flavors of the free OS out there, from Ubuntu to Arch LINUX.


LINUX RM Wrap-up

LINUX RM Wrap-up

LINUX RM is one of the more powerful tools in the LINUX command-line line-up, and it remains unique in terms of what it can do. While it is true that the DOS command-line side has the delete command, it is far less robust considering it does not deal with as many complicated read-write scenarios as rm.

Moreover, LINUX RM is a powerful tool that can clear a partition in the blink of an eye, and, using the command need to be done with respect and a careful eye. And, as with any UNIX or UNIX-like command, for more info just type man rm at the command-line for a full explanation of the program and its abilities.