Projects / safe-rm


safe-rm is intended to prevent the accidental deletion of important files by replacing /bin/rm with a wrapper that checks the given arguments against a configurable blacklist of files and directories that should never be removed. Users who attempt to delete one of these protected files or directories will not be able to do so and will be shown a warning message instead. Protected paths can be set both at the site and user levels.

Operating Systems

Last announcement

Contributing your list of protected paths to safe-rm 22 Apr 2010 23:15

This is an open invitation to all safe-rm users to send in their personal lists of protected paths so that some of these can hopefully be included in a future release. safe-rm is all about preventing little disasters and part of this involves shipping a default set of paths to protect from deletion. I've tried to guess what would be useful to people, but it's very likely that I have a missed a number of critical paths that people care about. So if you're happy with sharing your configuration, please consider emailing your /etc/safe-rm.conf or ~/.safe-rm to

Recent releases

  •  09 Jun 2013 07:45

    Release Notes: This minor release adds IFS to the list of environment variables to untaint.

    •  11 Jan 2013 09:22

      Release Notes: This version adds /lib32 and /lib64 to the default list of protected paths.

      •  15 Oct 2009 07:00

        Release Notes: This new version removes an unnecessary dependency on the English Perl module. This makes safe-rm more robust during upgrades of the Perl core packages.

        •  23 Sep 2009 02:28

          Release Notes: A small untainting problem was fixed for people who have CDPATH defined in their environment.

          •  22 May 2009 09:40

            Release Notes: This release fixes a bug that caused symbolic links to protected files to be undeletable. Therefore, if you create a symlink to /usr/lib, you will now be able to delete it without having to use the real rm explicitly. Another minor enhancement included in this release is the change in the message displayed by safe-rm when a protected file is skipped. The new message should now make it explicit who is to blame when a file isn't being deleted.


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