How to use rm and rmdir utilities to remove or delete files and directories in Linux


Use sudo with rm command for those files which are having root user and group permissions or if getting message  Access Denied.

Sudo rm text2.txt

rm text.txt


How to delete a files and directory in linux

In Linux operating system if needs to delete directory use following commands:

  • rmdir command – removes empty directories/folders

  • rm command – removes a directory/folder along with all the files and sub-directories in it.

How to remove or delete a files in linux based O.S.

The rm utility is used to delete files in a Linux. 

To delete a single file use below command.

rm file

The rm command can be used to delete more than one file at a time:

rm file_1 file_2 file_3

Wildcards can be used with this command.

For example, to delete all files with the .txt filename then:

rm *.txt

This method is also used to delete all files that contain a string of characters:

rm *text*.*

This will erase any file that has the word text in the name. The system will search the current directory for the file you want to remove. To delete a file in a different directory then switch to that:

cd /11 rm file1

rm text.txt

Or you can specify the file location in a single command directly:

rm /tmp/text.txt

Note: once the rm command execute then files or folder won’t be able to restore.

rm Command Options

If deleting multiple files add a confirmation prompt. Use the ioption to use an interactive dialog:

rm –i *.txt

Confirm the deletion of files by typing ‘yes’ or ‘no.’


To display the progress of the deletion with the v or verbose command:

rm –v *.txt

The output confirms that the file test.txt has been successfully removed.

To forcefully removal of file which is write-protected then use f for forcefully remove the file.

rm –f filename

Use sudo with rm command to delete file which is having Access denied.

sudo rm filename

How to remove a directory in linux Opearting system using Command line

By adding -r (-R) parameter with rm command to delete folder with files recursively.

To remove a directory with all files use option as below:

rm –r directory-name

rmdir directory-name

This will prompt confirmation before deleting.

To remove a directory without want to be an any confirmation:

rm –rf directory

Also can delete more than one directory or folder at a time:

rm –r directory_name1 directory_name2 directory_name3

rmdir directory_name1 directory_name2 directory_name3


In this blog we have learn how to delete files and directories in Linux. The rm and rmdir commands are flexible with multiple options. 


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