I've accidentally created a file named °. Now I'm having trouble deleting it with bash.

[/opt/etc/sudoers.d] # ls -l
-r--r-----    1 admin    administ       21 Feb  3 23:54 010-root
-rw-r--r--    1 admin    administ       20 Feb  3 23:50 °

Typing rm ° seems to only move the caret to the beginning of the line, i.e. no character is entered.

(For what it's worth I'm running bash 3.2.0 on a remote machine conntected with SSH using Mac OSX Terminal)

Any ideas?

3 Answers 3


How about?

rm -i ?

I think this should work...

  • 2
    For further explanation, -i means "interactive". It will prompt you for each matching file before deleting it.
    – bahamat
    Feb 5, 2011 at 21:01
  • Great idea, but I had to replace ? with * to make it work. rm: cannot remove '?': No such file or directory. What am I missing?
    – Oskar
    Feb 6, 2011 at 12:42
  • 2
    Perhaps your locale is wrong and so your shell sees the degree/ring symbol as two characters rather than one. Again, what does locale -a print?
    – Mikel
    Feb 6, 2011 at 20:15
  • 1
    Actually, the output of locale without -a would be better.
    – Mikel
    Feb 6, 2011 at 22:25

If there are a lot of matches to using a wildcard with rm like rm -i ?, you can always remove it by inode number instead:

ls -i
find . -inum <inode> -ok rm '{}' \;

Where <inode> is the inode number from ls -i, which lists all the inode numbers of the files in the current directory.

  • 1
    oh, this is cool.
    – gabe.
    Feb 7, 2011 at 22:28
  • This is the best answer since it gives a handle to the file itself. Also, I never knew about the -ok flag! Aug 22, 2016 at 16:59

The rm -i ? answer is fine.

This would also work:

rm [^a-z]

as would

rm [[:punct:]]

And as to why it's going back to the start of the line, how are you typing the ˚? Perhaps the input is being interpreted as Ctrl+A or some other shortcut that is used by the shell to go to the start of the line.

Is there a setting to set the encoding or character set to utf-8 in the terminal app? What does it print if you run locale inside the terminal session?

And how did you create the file? Maybe you can use a similar method to delete it?

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