Exercise 7: Remove Directory (rmdir)

In this exercise you learn how to remove an empty directory.

Do This

Linux/macOS

$ cd temp
$ ls
stuff
$ cd stuff/things/orange/apple/pear/grape/
$ cd ..
$ rmdir grape
$ cd ..
$ rmdir pear
$ cd ..
$ ls
apple
$ rmdir apple
$ cd ..
$ ls
orange
$ rmdir orange
$ cd ..
$ ls
things
$ rmdir things
$ cd ..
$ ls
stuff
$ rmdir stuff
$ pwd
~/temp
$

Warning

If you try to do rmdir on macOS and it refuses to remove the directory even though you are positive it's empty, then there is actually a file in there called .DS_Store. In that case, type rm -rf <dir> instead (replace <dir> with the directory name).

Windows

> cd temp
> ls


    Directory: C:\Users\zed\temp


Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
d----        12/17/2011   9:03 AM            stuff


> cd stuff/things/orange/apple/pear/grape/
> cd ..
> rmdir grape
> cd ..
> rmdir pear
> cd ..
> rmdir apple
> cd ..
> rmdir orange
> cd ..
> ls


    Directory: C:\Users\zed\temp\stuff


Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
d----        12/17/2011   9:14 AM            things


> rmdir things
> cd ..
> ls


    Directory: C:\Users\zed\temp


Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
d----        12/17/2011   9:14 AM            stuff


> rmdir stuff
> pwd

Path
----
C:\Users\zed\temp


> cd ..
>

You Learned This

I'm now mixing up the commands, so make sure you type them exactly and pay attention. Every time you make a mistake, it's because you aren't paying attention. If you find yourself making many mistakes, then take a break or just quit for the day. You've always got tomorrow to try again.

In this example you'll learn how to remove a directory. It's easy. You just go to the directory right above it, then type rmdir <dir>, replacing <dir> with the name of the directory to remove.

Do More

  • Make 20 more directories and remove them all.
  • Make a single path of directories that is 10 deep and remove them one at a time just like I did previously.
  • If you try to remove a directory with contents, you will get an error. I'll show you how to remove those in later exercises.

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