[Solved] rm: invalid option --' '

Submitted by sysop on Sat, 09/09/2023 - 20:44

rm: invalid option --' '

The error rm: invalid option --' ' occurs when a file's name starts with a hyphen ("-"), it can sometimes be tricky because the hyphen is interpreted as the start of an option by the rm command.

In Linux and Unix-like operating systems, the rm command is used to remove (delete) files and directories from the file system. It stands for "remove." The rm command allows you to delete files and directories based on various options and arguments.

If you try to remove a file with a hyphen at the beginning of its name using the following command:

rm -rf -filename

The rm command may interpret the hyphen as the start of an option and not as part of the filename. To overcome this issue, you can use the -- option to explicitly specify that you are providing a filename and not an option, like this:

rm -rf -- -filename

The -- option acts as a delimiter, telling rm that any subsequent arguments should be treated as filenames or directories, even if they start with a hyphen.

So, in summary, using rm -rf -- followed by the filename with a leading hyphen ensures that rm correctly interprets the filename and removes it without any issues.