unlink deletes the file(s) or directories specified by
a character vector with the names of the file(s) or directories to be deleted. Wildcards (normally ‘*’ and ‘?’) are allowed.
logical. Should directories be deleted recursively?
logical. Should permissions be changed (if possible) to allow the file or directory to be removed?
path.expand) is done on
recursive = FALSE directories are not deleted,
not even empty ones.
On most platforms ‘file’ includes symbolic links, fifos and
sockets. Prior to R 2.15.0
unlink(x, recursive = TRUE) would
delete the contents of a directory target of a symbolic link: it now
only deletes the symbolic link (as
unlink(x, recursive = FALSE)
Wildcard expansion is done by the internal code of
Sys.glob. Wildcards never match a leading ‘.’ in
the filename, and files ‘.’ and ‘..’ will never be
considered for deletion.
Wildcards will only be expanded if the system supports it. Most
systems will support not only ‘*’ and ‘?’ but also character
classes such as ‘[a-z]’ (see the
man pages for the system
glob on your OS). The metacharacters
* ? [ can
occur in Unix filenames, and this makes it difficult to use
unlink to delete such files (see
although escaping the metacharacters by backslashes usually works. If
a metacharacter matches nothing it is considered as a literal
recursive = TRUE might not be supported on all platforms, when it
will be ignored, with a warning: however there are no known current
0 for success,
1 for failure, invisibly.
Not deleting a non-existent file is not a failure, nor is being unable
to delete a directory if
recursive = FALSE. However, missing
x are regarded as failures.
Becker, R. A., Chambers, J. M. and Wilks, A. R. (1988) The New S Language. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole.