Everything is a file in Linux including the directory. A directory is nothing but a group of files. You can use the following commands to delete the directory in Linux (also known as a folder in the Macintosh OS X and Microsoft Windows operating system):
1. rmdir command – Deletes the specified empty directories.
2. rm command – Delete the file including sub-directories. You can delete non-empty directories with rmdir command.
rmdir command syntax to delete directory in Linux
The rmdir command remove the DIRECTORY(ies), if they are empty. The syntax is:
rmdir [option] directory-name
Open the terminal application and run command to delete given directory.
Delete Directory Linux Command
Open a command line terminal (select Applications > Accessories > Terminal), and then type the following command to remove a directory called /tmp/docs:
If a directory is not empty you will get an error message that read as follows::
rmdir: letters: Directory not empty
You can cd to the directory to find out files:
$ cd letters
In this example, remove data, foo and bar if bar were empty, foo only contained bar and data only contained foo directories:
rmdir -p data/foo/bar
- -p – Each directory argument is treated as a pathname of which all components will be removed, if they are empty, starting with the last most component.
How to see a diagnostic message for every directory processed
Pass the -v option to the rmdir command:
$ rmdir -v dir1
Linux remove entire directory including all files and sub-directories command
To remove all directories and subdirectories use rm command. For example remove *.doc files and all subdirectories and files inside letters directory, type the following command (warning all files including subdirectories will be deleted permanently):
$ rm -rf letters/
- -r : Attempt to remove the file hierarchy rooted in each file argument i.e. recursively remove subdirectories and files from the specified directory.
- -f : Attempt to remove the files without prompting for confirmation, regardless of the file’s permissions
- For more information read man pages: rm(1)