HowTo: Deleting Directories in Linux

Posted on in Categories , , last updated December 2, 2013

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.

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.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

2 comment

Leave a Comment