A directory is nothing but a location for storing files on your Unix based system. For example, /home/vivek/Downloads/ stores all downloaded files from the Internet. In Unix, you need to use rmdir command to remove a directory. This page shows how to delete a directory using the rmdir command and rm command.
Unix command to delete a directory
The syntax is as follows:
- Open the terminal application
- To delete a directory named dir1 that exists in your current working directory, enter: rmdir dir1
- If dir1 exists, and is an empty directory, it will be deleted. If the directory is not empty or you do not have permission to delete it, you will see an error message on screen
- To remove a full directory named dir2 in Unix including all files and sub-directories, run: rm -rf dir2
Let us see some examples and usage in details.
In Unix, how do I remove a directory?
For example, to eliminate a sub-directory named pics that exists in your current working directory, at the Unix prompt, run:
ls -l pics
Please note that the directory named “pics” must be empty before you can remove it, and you must have write permission in its parent directory. Use the ls -al pics command to check whether the directory is empty or not. To remove the /home/vivek/fintechdata directory, run:
To remove the /data, /data/sales, and /data/sales/fy2003 directories, type:
rmdir -p /data/sales/fy2003
How do I remove a full directory in Unix?
Let us try to remove directory called “data”, enter:
rmdir: failed to remove 'data': Directory not empty
If the subdirectory “data” exists in your current directory and it is not empty, you can delete it by entering at the Unix prompt:
rm -r data
This page showed how to delete an empty directory as well as how to remove a directory that contains other files or directories. For more info on the rmdir and the rm -r commands, see their man pages here and here. At the Unix shell prompt, run:
🐧 Get the latest tutorials on Linux, Open Source & DevOps via:
|Category||List of Unix and Linux commands|
|Firewall||Alpine Awall • CentOS 8 • OpenSUSE • RHEL 8 • Ubuntu 16.04 • Ubuntu 18.04 • Ubuntu 20.04|
|Network Utilities||dig • host • ip • nmap|
|OpenVPN||CentOS 7 • CentOS 8 • Debian 10 • Debian 8/9 • Ubuntu 18.04 • Ubuntu 20.04|
|Package Manager||apk • apt|
|Processes Management||bg • chroot • cron • disown • fg • jobs • killall • kill • pidof • pstree • pwdx • time|
|Searching||grep • whereis • which|
|User Information||groups • id • lastcomm • last • lid/libuser-lid • logname • members • users • whoami • who • w|
|WireGuard VPN||Alpine • CentOS 8 • Debian 10 • Firewall • Ubuntu 20.04|