Linux Delete Folder

last updated in Categories , , , , , , , , ,

How do I delete folders under Linux operating systems?

You can the folder or directory, if they are empty using the following rmdir command.


rmdir foldername
rmdir dirname
rmdir /path/to/folder
rmdir /path/to/directory


In this example, delete the directory called /tmp/letters

rmdir /tmp/letters

Task: Remove DIRECTORY and Its Ancestors

The -p option can delete directory and its subdirectories:

rmdir -p dir1/dir2/dir3

Task: Delete All Files and Folders Including Subdirectories

Use the following syntax:

rm -rf /path/to/dir

For example, delete /home/vivek/docs and all its subdirectories including file, enter:

rm -rf /home/vivek/docs 
ls -l /home/vivek/docs

GUI File Manager

The Nautilus file manager (GNOME desktop) provides a simple and integrated way to manage your files and applications. Just open it from Places menu and select folder and hit delete key.

Fig.01: Gnome File Browser
Fig.01: Gnome File Browser

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.

3 comment

  1. Look out Vivek,

    You have just invented 2 new commands : “mdir” and “m”
    (instead of “mkdir” (3 times) and “rm” (2 times).


    1. Philippe,

      There is a bug in WP plugin that displays bash script and commands; it eats ‘r’ character when enclosed in formatting tags as follows:

      <pre lang="bash">rmdir foldername</pre>

      Which renders it as

      mdir foldername

      To avoid this I need to add an extra newline to command:

      <pre lang="bash">
      rmdir foldername

      This one renders correctly:

      rmdir foldername

      The plugin author stopped updating plugin and I’m not able to find out the bug on my own :( so some time we get this kind of weird problems. I’d like to thank you for pointing out this and while fixing this I found another bug because of your comment too. It was related to image display. I’ll buy you beer and pizza!

    Still, have a question? Get help on our forum!