How to Delete a Directory in Linux

This post will guide you how to remove a directory from the command line using rm or rmdir command in your Linux system. How do I delete a directory and all its subdirectories under CetnOS or RHEL Linux operating system.

How to Delete a Directory in Linux 1

Rm Command


rm removes each specified file. By default, it does not remove directories.

The syntax of the rm command is as follows:

rm [OPTION]... [FILE]...

Options:

-f, --force ignore nonexistent files and arguments, never prompt
-i prompt before every removal
-r, -R, --recursive remove directories and their contents recursively
-d, --dir remove empty directories

Rmdir Command


Rmdir command can be used to remove the DIRECTORY(ies), if they are empty.

The syntax of the Rmdir command is as follows:

rmdir [OPTION]... DIRECTORY...

Options:

-p, --parents remove DIRECTORY and its ancestors; e.g., ‘rmdir -p a/b/c’ is similar to ‘rmdir a/b/c a/b a’

Delete a Directory with Rmdir Command


if you want to delete a directory from the command line in your Linux system, and you can use rmdir command to remove it. And this command can only be used to remove a empty directory. and if the directory is not empty, and you will get a warning message to prompt your that the directory is not empty. see below:

[[email protected] ~]$ ls mydir
myfile1 myfile2 myfile3 myfile4
[[email protected] ~]$ rmdir mydir/
rmdir: failed to remove 'mydir/': Directory not empty

If you want to delete a empty directory called myempytdir under root direcotry, and you can type the following command to delete it, type:

$ rmdir /root/myemptydir

Delete a Directory with Rm Command


If you want to delete a non-empty diretory or you want to delete a particular directory and its all subdirectories and files, and you can use the rm command with “-rf” options.

For example, you wish to delete all files and subdirectories under /tmp directory, and you can type the following command:

$ rm -rf /tmp/*

If you want to get more help about those commands, you can run the following commands:

$ man rm
$ man rmdir
$ rmdir --help
$ rm --help

Outputs:

[[email protected] ~]$ rm --help
Usage: rm [OPTION]... [FILE]...
Remove (unlink) the FILE(s).

-f, --force ignore nonexistent files and arguments, never prompt
-i prompt before every removal
-I prompt once before removing more than three files, or
when removing recursively; less intrusive than -i,
while still giving protection against most mistakes
--interactive[=WHEN] prompt according to WHEN: never, once (-I), or
always (-i); without WHEN, prompt always
--one-file-system when removing a hierarchy recursively, skip any
directory that is on a file system different from
that of the corresponding command line argument
--no-preserve-root do not treat '/' specially
--preserve-root[=all] do not remove '/' (default);
with 'all', reject any command line argument
on a separate device from its parent
-r, -R, --recursive remove directories and their contents recursively
-d, --dir remove empty directories
-v, --verbose explain what is being done
--help display this help and exit
--version output version information and exit

By default, rm does not remove directories. Use the --recursive (-r or -R)
option to remove each listed directory, too, along with all of its contents.

To remove a file whose name starts with a '-', for example '-foo',
use one of these commands:
rm -- -foo

rm ./-foo

Note that if you use rm to remove a file, it might be possible to recover
some of its contents, given sufficient expertise and/or time. For greater
assurance that the contents are truly unrecoverable, consider using shred.

Conclusion


You should know that how to delte a direcotry and its all contents using rm command in your CentOS/RHEL/Ubuntu Linux.

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