Cygwin: rm is actually move to Recycle Bin

This post was written by eli on February 24, 2011
Posted Under: Software

This one really pissed me off. I installed Cygwin recently on an XP machine. All kinds of .cyg000(mumbo jumbo) directories started to show up, and I had no idea why.

Then I got it: The rm command in recent Cygwin (versions > 1.7?) is “friendly”: Rather than unlinking the files, they are moved to a “hidden” directory. Isn’t it wonderful that Cygwin is nice to me? Not. I want the utilities to do what I expect them to do, nothing else. One day, I hope, people will realize that making “improvements” in software is just a way to make things break. In this case, it was my “make clean” not doing what I expected.

I don’t know if there is an environment variable to fiddle with. If you do, please comment below. Impatient as I get to get rid of these pests, I downloaded the clean GNU version for Windows (a non-Cygwin one) and kissed the old one goodbye. As simple as that.

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