rm command problem

DAve dave.list at pixelhammer.com
Fri Oct 20 19:52:43 UTC 2006

DAve wrote:
> Efren Bravo wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Accidentally I've created a file called -exclude
>> and now I cann't delete it.
>> I tried with:
>> rm -exclude and rm *exclude but it returns this:
>> rm: illegal option -- -
>> usage: rm [-f | -i] [-dIPRrvW] file ...
>>        unlink file
>> How can I delete it?
> You have probably found that anything you try errors because the shell 
> thinks -e is a switch. The easiest way is to find the files inode number 
> and delete the file using that.
> director# ls -i
> 107008 .bash_history    107760 .login           107759 .mail_aliases 
> 107764 .profile         107765 .shrc
> 107758 .cshrc           107761 .login_conf      107762 .mailrc 107763 
> .rhosts
> then use find to remove the file.
> director# find . -inum 107763 -exec rm -i {} \;
> remove ./.rhosts? y
> This works for all manner of funky file names. I had done that many 
> times before, generally from not reading man pages and passing switches 
> to programs that didn't expect it, or by piping commands incorrectly.
> DAve

Chuck Swiger wrote:
 > On Oct 20, 2006, at 9:21 AM, Efren Bravo wrote:
 >> Accidentally I've created a file called -exclude
 >> and now I cann't delete it.
 > Try:
 >   rm -- -exclude

See, just like I said. I got into trouble a long time ago by not reading 
man pages, and discovered I could delete by inode. I've done it that way 
from habit since.

*Had I read the man pages back then* I would have known about rm -- ;^)

I read all manner of man pages, README, CHANGES, and INSTALL docs now 
before I do anything new. John Polstra from SeaBug gently chided me into 
that habit until I caught on.


Three years now I've asked Google why they don't have a
logo change for Memorial Day. Why do they choose to do logos
for other non-international holidays, but nothing for

Maybe they forgot who made that choice possible.

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list