| Lesson 4 || Removing directories quickly |
| Objective || Use the |
rm command to remove directories.
Removing Directories quickly in Unix
You use the
rmdir command to remove directories that are empty. However, if the directory contains many subdirectories, you must use repeated combinations of
rm * and
rmdir to do the job. In addition,
rm * does not remove hidden files. To do that,
you must use
rm with a pattern like
.* instead. A more efficient way to remove a directory and all of its contents, including subdirectories, is to use
rm with the
-r option, as follows:
% rm -r directory
Once you delete a directory hierarchy, it is gone forever, unless there is a backup copy.
If you want
rm to prompt you for confirmation before deleting files use the
For an even more efficient approach, use
option forces deletion of files to which you lack write access as long as you own those files. Normally,
prompts you for confirmation before deleting files that are read-only or read/execute-only. For example, suppose a directory contains a file
, with an access mode of
If you attempt a
on this directory, you will get the following prompt:
Override protection 444 for myfile?
You either can answer yes each time you get this prompt, or you can use
and suppress the prompt.
In the next lesson, the creation of a symbolic link using the
command will be discussed.
Copying Removing Directories Exercise