UNIX Delete / Remove Directory Command

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How do I delete / remove a directory under UNIX operating systems?

You need to use rmdir command to remove a directory. It will remove the directory entry specified by each dirname operand, which must refer to an empty directory.

For example, to remove a directory called “cppcode”, enter:
rmdir cppcode

Note:
A directory must be empty before it can be removed. Use rm command to remove all files from a directory:
cd cppcode
rm *.cpp
cd ..
rmdir cppcode

You can also recursively remove directories and subdirectories. The directory will be emptied of files and removed using rm command:
rm -r oldletters

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

20 comment

  1. if you do rm -fr cppcode, it will forcefully delete the directory(making it empty and delete).

    Thanks,
    KARAN

  2. Is there any way to delete directory recurisively,,without deleting content of each directory .

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