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A `rm -rf` util for nodejs

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The UNIX command

rm -rf
for node.

Install with

npm install rimraf
, or just drop rimraf.js somewhere.


rimraf(f, [opts], callback)

The first parameter will be interpreted as a globbing pattern for files. If you want to disable globbing you can do so with

(defaults to
). This might be handy, for instance, if you have filenames that contain globbing wildcard characters.

The callback will be called with an error if there is one. Certain errors are handled for you:

  • Windows:
    - rimraf will back off a maximum of
    times before giving up, adding 100ms of wait between each attempt. The default
    is 3.
    - If the file doesn't exist, rimraf will return successfully, since your desired outcome is already the case.
    - Since
    requires opening a file descriptor, it's possible to hit
    if too many file descriptors are in use. In the sync case, there's nothing to be done for this. But in the async case, rimraf will gradually back off with timeouts up to
    ms, which defaults to 1000.


  • unlink, chmod, stat, lstat, rmdir, readdir, unlinkSync, chmodSync, statSync, lstatSync, rmdirSync, readdirSync

    In order to use a custom file system library, you can override specific fs functions on the options object.

    If any of these functions are present on the options object, then the supplied function will be used instead of the default fs method.

    Sync methods are only relevant for

    , of course.

    For example:

    var myCustomFS = require('some-custom-fs')

    rimraf('some-thing', myCustomFS, callback)

  • maxBusyTries

    If an

    , or
    error code is encountered on Windows systems, then rimraf will retry with a linear backoff wait of 100ms longer on each try. The default maxBusyTries is 3.

    Only relevant for async usage.

  • emfileWait

    If an

    error is encountered, then rimraf will retry repeatedly with a linear backoff of 1ms longer on each try, until the timeout counter hits this max. The default limit is 1000.

    If you repeatedly encounter

    errors, then consider using graceful-fs in your program.

    Only relevant for async usage.

  • glob

    Set to

    to disable glob pattern matching.

    Set to an object to pass options to the glob module. The default glob options are

    { nosort: true, silent: true }

    Glob version 6 is used in this module.

    Relevant for both sync and async usage.

  • disableGlob

    Set to any non-falsey value to disable globbing entirely. (Equivalent to setting

    glob: false


It can remove stuff synchronously, too. But that's not so good. Use the async API. It's better.


If installed with

npm install rimraf -g
it can be used as a global command
rimraf  [ ...]
which is useful for cross platform support.


If you need to create a directory recursively, check out mkdirp.

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