HowTo: Deleting Directories in Linux

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
Difficulty level Easy
Root privileges No
Requirements rmdir/rm
Est. reading time 1m

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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2 comments… add one
  • aref ghobadi Aug 17, 2015 @ 15:41

    thanks a lot, very nice article

  • zergh Mar 15, 2016 @ 6:40

    what the command for delete files using terminal ubuntu…full command

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