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Man Pages


Manual Reference Pages  -  SRM (1)

NAME

srm - securely remove files or directories

CONTENTS

SYNOPSIS

srm [OPTION]... FILE...

DESCRIPTION

srm removes each specified file by overwriting, renaming, and truncating it before unlinking. This prevents other people from undeleting or recovering any information about the file from the command line. By default srm uses 35 passes to overwrite the file’s contents. If this seems overkill you can use use the --dod, --doe, --openbsd, --simple option which use less passes. If you specify more than one option (of those listed above) they are executed in the order shown above.

You can use srm to overwrite block devices. The device node is not removed after overwriting. This feature is available on Linux. Files with multiple hard links will be unlinked but not overwritten.

srm, like every program that uses the getopt function to parse its arguments, lets you use the -- option to indicate that all following arguments are non-options. To remove a file called ‘-f’ in the current directory, you could type either

rm -- -f
or
rm ./-f

OPTIONS

-d, --directory
  ignored (for compatibility with rm(1))
-f, --force
  ignore nonexistent files, never prompt
-i, --interactive
  prompt before any removal
-r, -R, --recursive
  remove the contents of directories recursively
-x, --one-file-system
  when removing a hierarchy recursively, skip any directory that is on a file system different from that of the corresponding command line argument. (Not supported on Windows)
-s, --simple
  only overwrite the file with a single pass of zero bytes
-P, --openbsd
  OpenBSD compatible rm. Files are overwritten three times, first with the byte 0xff, then 0x00, and then 0xff again, before they are deleted.
-D, --dod US Dod compliant 7-pass overwrite.
-E, --doe US DoE compliant 3-pass overwrite. Twice with a random pattern, finally with the bytes "DoE". See http://cio.energy.gov/CS-11_Clearing_and_Media_Sanitization_Guidance.pdf for details.
-G, --gutmann
  Use the 35-pass Gutmann method. This is the default and slowest overwrite mode. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gutmann_method for details.
-v, --verbose
  explain what is being done. Specify this option multiple times to increase verbosity.
-h, --help display this help and exit
-V, --version
  output version information and exit

SIGNALS

SIGINFO, SIGUSR2
  show current write position and filename handled.

ENTIRE HARD DISKS

srm can write to block devices on Linux. You can use srm to securely delete an entire hard disk, however you should only do this for classic magnetic drives. The modern solid state disks (SSD) have a faster and better way to erase all contents, Secure Erase. For a Linux operating system see https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/ATA_Secure_Erase

NOTES

srm can not remove write protected files owned by another user, regardless of the permissions on the directory containing the file.

Development and discussion of srm is carried out at https://sourceforge.net/projects/srm/ which is also accessible via http://srm.sourceforge.net/. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_remanence for a general discussion about overwriting data.

SEE ALSO

rm(1) http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/manual/coreutils.html#rm-invocation
shred(1)
  http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/manual/coreutils.html#shred-invocation
wipe(1) http://lambda-diode.com/software/wipe
secure-delete
  http://packages.debian.org/lenny/secure-delete
scrub(1)
  http://code.google.com/p/diskscrub/
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Matt Gauthier, Dirk Jagdmann SRM (1) 1.2.12

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