Removing a Directory In Linux

by on January 15, 2010 · 1 comment· LAST UPDATED December 15, 2010


How do I remove a directory in Linux using the shell prompt?

You can use the following commands:

[a] rmdir command : remove empty directories.

[b] rm command : remove files or directories.

Linux Delete a Directory Command Examples

The syntax is as follows:

rmdir dirName

Login using the ssh client or open a command-line terminal (select Applications > Accessories > Terminal under Gnome desktop), than type the following command to delete empty directory called foo:

rmdir foo

By default, the rm command does not remove directories. Use the --recursive (-r or -R) option to remove each listed directory, too, along with all of its contents including all files and subdirectories:

rm -r documents

You can also specifiy the full path:

rm -r /data/dir1
rm -r /home/vivek/dir2
rmdir $HOME/mp3
Tweet itFacebook itG+ itDownload PDF versionFound an error/typo on this page?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Ramlee August 6, 2014 at 6:56 am

My name is Ramlee and my laptop has the latest Ubuntu Studio distro installed.

I am trying to remove a folder/directory that I extracted from an archived file incorrectly. The path to the folder is;

/usr/share/sounds/sf2/GeneralUser GS 1.44 FluidSynth

That last folder (GeneralUser GS etc.) is the folder I want to delete and it contains a mix of subdirectories and single files.

I have tried every combination of the rm -r command in a terminal with no success. So far, I have had the following three results;

1. nothing happens, or
2. I’m told the directory doesn’t exist, or
3. I’m told I don’t have the correct permission.

I have a feeling I’m not typing in my commands correctly. All advice welcome.

Regards Ramlee.


Leave a Comment

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Previous Faq:

Next Faq: