Debian and its derivatives (and probably most other distributions) come with
busybox which is used in the
busybox bundles most core command line utilities in a single executable.
You can temporarily symlink
ln -s busybox /bin/rm
To get a working
rm (after which you can do your
apt-get install --reinstall coreutils).
That same method can be used for all the other utilities that
busybox includes. That list varies from one deployment to another. You can get the list with
Note however that they are limited versions of the corresponding utilities. They sometimes support GNU extensions, but generally not and some of them will not even support all the standard/POSIX features (some features can be enabled/disabled at compile time).
Alternatively, you could use
zsh's builtin rm:
#! /bin/zsh -
zsh/files module provides with a few additional builtin commands (
sync). It's useful in this kind of situation or when you cannot fork more processes but do have an interactive
ksh93 also has a number of extra/optional commands buitin, but not
rm among them (
sync). You can invoke them with:
ksh93 script or invoke
builtin the-command for the
the-command builtin to be enabled and replace the external one.