GIT-RM(1) Git Manual GIT-RM(1)
git-rm - Remove files from the working tree and from the index
git rm [-f | --force] [-n] [-r] [--cached] [--ignore-unmatch] [--quiet] [--] <file>...
Remove files from the index, or from the working tree and the index.
git rm will not remove a file from just your working directory. (There
is no option to remove a file only from the working tree and yet keep
it in the index; use /bin/rm if you want to do that.) The files being
removed have to be identical to the tip of the branch, and no updates
to their contents can be staged in the index, though that default
behavior can be overridden with the -f option. When --cached is given,
the staged content has to match either the tip of the branch or the
file on disk, allowing the file to be removed from just the index.
Files to remove. Fileglobs (e.g. *.c) can be given to remove all
matching files. If you want Git to expand file glob characters, you
may need to shell-escape them. A leading directory name (e.g. dir
to remove dir/file1 and dir/file2) can be given to remove all files
in the directory, and recursively all sub-directories, but this
requires the -r option to be explicitly given.
Override the up-to-date check.
Don't actually remove any file(s). Instead, just show if they exist
in the index and would otherwise be removed by the command.
Allow recursive removal when a leading directory name is given.
This option can be used to separate command-line options from the
list of files, (useful when filenames might be mistaken for
Use this option to unstage and remove paths only from the index.
Working tree files, whether modified or not, will be left alone.
Exit with a zero status even if no files matched.
git rm normally outputs one line (in the form of an rm command) for
each file removed. This option suppresses that output.
The <file> list given to the command can be exact pathnames, file glob
patterns, or leading directory names. The command removes only the
paths that are known to Git. Giving the name of a file that you have
not told Git about does not remove that file.
File globbing matches across directory boundaries. Thus, given two
directories d and d2, there is a difference between using git rm 'd*'
and git rm 'd/*', as the former will also remove all of directory d2.
REMOVING FILES THAT HAVE DISAPPEARED FROM THE FILESYSTEM
There is no option for git rm to remove from the index only the paths
that have disappeared from the filesystem. However, depending on the
use case, there are several ways that can be done.
Using "git commit -a"
If you intend that your next commit should record all modifications of
tracked files in the working tree and record all removals of files that
have been removed from the working tree with rm (as opposed to git rm),
use git commit -a, as it will automatically notice and record all
removals. You can also have a similar effect without committing by
using git add -u.
Using "git add -A"
When accepting a new code drop for a vendor branch, you probably want
to record both the removal of paths and additions of new paths as well
as modifications of existing paths.
Typically you would first remove all tracked files from the working
tree using this command:
git ls-files -z | xargs -0 rm -f
and then untar the new code in the working tree. Alternately you could
rsync the changes into the working tree.
After that, the easiest way to record all removals, additions, and
modifications in the working tree is:
git add -A
If all you really want to do is to remove from the index the files that
are no longer present in the working tree (perhaps because your working
tree is dirty so that you cannot use git commit -a), use the following
git diff --name-only --diff-filter=D -z | xargs -0 git rm --cached
Only submodules using a gitfile (which means they were cloned with a
Git version 1.7.8 or newer) will be removed from the work tree, as
their repository lives inside the .git directory of the superproject.
If a submodule (or one of those nested inside it) still uses a .git
directory, git rm will move the submodules git directory into the
superprojects git directory to protect the submodule's history. If it
exists the submodule.<name> section in the gitmodules(5) file will also
be removed and that file will be staged (unless --cached or -n are
A submodule is considered up to date when the HEAD is the same as
recorded in the index, no tracked files are modified and no untracked
files that aren't ignored are present in the submodules work tree.
Ignored files are deemed expendable and won't stop a submodule's work
tree from being removed.
If you only want to remove the local checkout of a submodule from your
work tree without committing the removal, use git-submodule(1) deinit
instead. Also see gitsubmodules(7) for details on submodule removal.
git rm Documentation/\*.txt
Removes all *.txt files from the index that are under the
Documentation directory and any of its subdirectories.
Note that the asterisk * is quoted from the shell in this example;
this lets Git, and not the shell, expand the pathnames of files and
subdirectories under the Documentation/ directory.
git rm -f git-*.sh
Because this example lets the shell expand the asterisk (i.e. you
are listing the files explicitly), it does not remove
Each time a superproject update removes a populated submodule (e.g.
when switching between commits before and after the removal) a stale
submodule checkout will remain in the old location. Removing the old
directory is only safe when it uses a gitfile, as otherwise the history
of the submodule will be deleted too. This step will be obsolete when
recursive submodule update has been implemented.
Part of the git(1) suite
Git 2.20.1 01/22/2019 GIT-RM(1)