Introduction to the Linux Command: rmdir

The Linux operating system has many commands that allow users to manage and control the various aspects of their system. One of these commands is the “rmdir” command, which is used to remove an empty directory. This command is a useful tool for those who work with the Linux command line, and it is important to understand how it works and when to use it.

What is the rmdir Command in Linux?

The “rmdir” command in Linux is a command line tool used to delete empty directories. This means that the directory must not contain any files or subdirectories in order for it to be deleted. If a directory contains files or subdirectories, the “rmdir” command will not delete it and will instead display an error message.

How to Use the rmdir Command in Linux

Using the “rmdir” command in Linux is simple. The basic syntax for the command is as follows:

rmdir [directory]

Where “[directory]” is the name of the directory that you want to delete. For example, to delete a directory called “test,” you would run the following command:

Rmdir test

It is important to note that you must have the appropriate permissions to delete the directory in question. If you do not have the appropriate permissions, the “rmdir” command will return an error message.

Options for the rmdir Command in Linux

There are several options that can be used with the “rmdir” command in Linux. These options include:

  • -p: This option allows you to delete a directory and all of its parent directories, as long as they are empty.
  • -v: This option displays the name of each directory that is being deleted.
  • –ignore-fail-on-non-empty: This option tells the “rmdir” command to ignore non-empty directories and continue with the deletion of other directories.

Examples of Using the rmdir Command in Linux

Here are a few examples of how the “rmdir” command can be used in Linux:

  • To delete a single empty directory:
rmdir test_directory
  • To delete multiple empty directories:
rmdir test_directory1 test_directory2 test_directory3
  • To delete a directory and all of its parent directories:
rmdir -p test_directory/test_subdirectory/test_subsubdirectory


The “rmdir” command in Linux is a useful tool for deleting empty directories. It is simple to use, and there are several options available to customize its behavior. Understanding how to use the “rmdir” command is an important part of working with the Linux command line, and it can help make managing your system a lot easier.


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If you try to delete a non-empty directory with the “rmdir” command, it will return an error message stating that the directory is not empty.

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Yes, you can delete multiple directories at once by listing the names of the directories separated by a space.

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The “rmdir” command is used to delete empty directories, while the “rm” command is used to delete files and directories, both empty and non-empty.

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No, the “rmdir” command can only delete empty directories. If you need to delete a non-empty directory, you should use the “rm” command with the appropriate options.

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Yes, you can use the “rmdir” command to delete directories located in different directories by specifying the complete path to the directory in the command.