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Removes a branch from the version tree of an element


ProductCommand type
ClearCasecleartool subcommand
ClearCase LTcleartool subcommand



rmbranch [ –c·omment comment | –cfi·le comment-file-pname |–cq·uery
| –cqe·ach | –nc·omment ]
[ –f·orce ] pname ...


This command destroys information irretrievably. Using it carelessly may compromise your organization's ability to support old releases.

The rmbranch command deletes one or more branches from their elements. For each branch, deletion entails the following:

  • Removal from the entire branch structure from the VOB database: branch object and version objects
  • Removal of all metadata items (labels, attributes, hyperlinks, and triggers) that were attached to the deleted objects
  • Removal of all event records for the deleted objects
  • (File elements only) Removal of the data containers that hold the file system data of the deleted versions
  • Creation of a destroy sub-branch event record for the parent branch of the deleted branch

Note: If all of an element's versions are stored in a single data container, the deleted versions are removed logically, not physically.

To delete all instances of a branch and the branch type object, use the rmtype command.



You must have one of the following identities:

  • Branch creator
  • Element owner
  • VOB owner
  • root (UNIX)
  • Member of the ClearCase administrators group (ClearCase on Windows)
  • Local administrator of the ClearCase LT server host (ClearCase LT on Windows)


An error occurs if one or more of these objects are locked: VOB, element type, element, branch type, branch, pool (nondirectory elements only).


(Replicated VOBs only) Your current replica must master the branch.


You cannot delete an element's main branch or a branch with checkouts. See the reference page for uncheckout.


Event Records and Comments

Creates one or more event records, with commenting controlled by your .clearcase_profile file (default: –nc). See the comments reference page. Comments can be edited with chevent.

–c·omment comment | –cfi·le comment-file-pname |–cq·uery | –cqe·ach | –nc·omment
Overrides the default with the option you specify. See the comments reference page.

Confirmation Step

  rmbranch prompts for confirmation before deleting anything.

Suppresses the confirmation step.

Specifying the Branches to Be Removed


pname ...
One or more VOB-extended pathnames, indicating the branches to be deleted. Examples:



The UNIX examples in this section are written for use in csh. If you use another shell, you may need to use different quoting and escaping conventions.

The Windows examples that include wildcards or quoting are written for use in cleartool interactive mode. If you use cleartool single-command mode, you may need to change the wildcards and quoting to make your command interpreter process the command appropriately.

In cleartool single-command mode, cmd-context represents the UNIX shell or Windows command interpreter prompt, followed by the cleartool command. In cleartool interactive mode, cmd-context represents the interactive cleartool prompt.

Note: In the UNIX examples that follow, arguments and output that show multicomponent VOB tags are not applicable to ClearCase LT, which recognizes only single-component VOB tags. In this manual, a multicomponent VOB tag is by convention a two-component VOB tag of the form /vobs/vob-tag-leaf—for example, /vobs/src. A single-component VOB tag consists of a leaf only—for example, /src. In all other respects, the examples are valid for ClearCase LT.

  • Delete the maintenance branch of element util.c.

    cmd-context  rmbranch util.c@@/main/maintenance
    Branch "util.c@@/main/maintenance" has 0 sub-branches, 2 sub-versions Remove
    branch, all its sub-branches and sub-versions? [no]
    Removed branch "util.c@@/main/maintenance".

  • Verify, with the lsvtree command, that element msg.c has a patch2 branch. Then, delete that branch without prompting for confirmation.

    cmd-context  lsvtree –branch \main\patch2 msg.c

    cmd-context  rmbranch –force msg.c@@\main\patch2
    Removed branch "msg.c@@\main\patch2".



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