HowTo: Deleting Directories in Linux

by on December 2, 2012 · 0 comments· LAST UPDATED December 2, 2013

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How do I delete a directory or directories in Linux using the Terminal application?

You can delete the directory using any one of the following command:

rmdir command : It removes the directory entry specified by each directory argument, provided it is empty.

rm command : It removes the file. But, can be used to remove directory too even if directory is not empty.

Tutorial details
DifficultyEasy (rss)
Root privilegesNo
Requirementsrmdir/rm
Estimated completion time1m

Syntax: Remove an empty directory with the rmdir command

The basic syntax is:

rmdir dirNameHere

To remove an empty directory called foo in the current directory, enter:

 
rmdir foo
 

To remove an empty directory called foo in the current directory, enter:

 
rmdir foo
 

To remove an empty directory called foo/bar, enter:

 
rmdir -p foo/bar
 

Syntax: Remove directory and all its files including sub-directories with the rm command

The basic syntax is:

rm -rf dirNameHere

Warning: There is no undo in the command line/shell. So be careful with the following command. You may loss data permanently.

To remove movies-mp3 directory, enter:

 
rm -rf movies-mp3
 

More more information see rmdir(1) and rm(1) command man pages.

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