rmdir Command


Removes a directory.


rmdir-p ] Directory ...


The rmdir command removes the directory, specified by the Directory parameter, from the system. The directory must be empty before you can remove it, and you must have write permission in its parent directory. Use the ls -al command to check whether the directory is empty. The directory must not be exported for use by the NFS version 4 server.
Note: The rmdir command supports the (dash, dash) parameter as a delimiter that indicates the end of the flags.


Item Description
-pDirectory Removes all directories along the path name specified by the Directory parameter. Parent directories must be empty and the user must have write permission in the parent directories before they can be removed.

Exit Status

This command returns the following exit values:

Item Description
0 Each directory entry specified by a Directory parameter was removed successfully.
>0 An error occurred.


  1. To empty and remove a directory, type:
    rm mydir/* mydir/.*
    rmdir mydir
    This command removes the contents of the mydir file and then removes the empty directory. The rm command displays an error message about trying to remove the directories . (dot) and .. (dot, dot), and then the rmdir command removes them. 

    Note that the rm mydir/* mydir/.* command first removes files with names that do not begin with a dot, and then removes those with names that do begin with a dot. You may not realize that the directory contains file names that begin with a dot because the ls command does not usually list them unless you use the -a flag.

  2. To remove the /home, /home/demo, and /home/demo/mydir directories, type:
    rmdir -p /home/demo/mydir
    This command removes first the /mydir directory and then the /demo and /home directories, respectively. If a directory is not empty or does not have write permission when it is to be removed, the command terminates.


Item Description
/usr/bin/rmdir Contains the rmdir command.