rmw (Remove to Waste)


Anything that isn’t covered here may be found on the Extra Tips page.

What is your release cycle?

It varies, averaging once or twice a year. If bugs are found and reported, a release will happen sooner depending on the severity. Upcoming releases can be tracked using the Milestones page. The dates may change but Andy tries to keep them as up-to-date as possible.

Can rmw replace rm? Can I alias rmw to rm?

I don’t recommend it. Many other utilities use rm in the background and you’d wind up with a very full trash can. Also, rmw doesn’t have the same command line options as rm (see also: an extended discussion)

How do I know if rmw is compatible with my Desktop trash?

When rmw moves a file to a waste or trash directory, it also writes a .trashinfo file to the corresponding trash directory. The default waste directory that rmw uses is ~/.local/share/Waste, therefore rmw foo would result in


The contents of foo.trashinfo would look like this:

[Trash Info]

On most *nix and *BSD systems, the desktop trash has the same format, and is located in ~/.local/share/Trash. You can verify that the trashinfo format and directory layout is the same.

If you’re sure that your Desktop trash is compatible, you can add the appropriate line to your rmw configuration file.

Does rmw work on Windows?

Not yet. There’s an open ticket for that. But reportedly, rmw works well on the Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Can I use wildcard and regex patterns with rmw?

Yes. For example:

rmw *.txt
rmw test[0-9].txt

Some complex regex expressions won’t work. If you’d like support for a particular pattern that doesn’t already work, please open a ticket.

Can rmw be run as a scheduled job to purge expired files?

I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s never been tested that way, but more importantly, it could cause a race condition. For example, if you manually run rmw at the same time it’s being run by a task scheduler, rmw could have unpredictable results as it tries to read files that are in the process of being removed (the rare possibility of collision exists even though rmw usually only takes a few seconds or less to run).

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This website was last updated on Jun 11th, 2024