How to Delete or Delete a Linux File or Directory – Easy Guide

The process of removing files and directories from Linux is pretty straightforward. However, this process can be tedious and long when the number of files is large or there are different paths for several subdirectories. For this reason, it is convenient for you to gain useful knowledge on  How to Delete or Delete Linux File or Directory – Easy Guide

The Linux file system

Linux in all its versions has a file system that consists of a layer located under the operating system environment which allows to position the data for storage. Thanks to the file system, Linux can identify where a file starts and ends.

Therefore, in Linux files work through a structure called the “file system.” Generally, you will notice that when installing a Linux distribution the default file system is called “Ext4”.

Linux directories

Linux directories are folders that store main operating system commands, startup files, the configuration of all the packages that have been installed, the paths where the different devices have been mounted, and the processes that are running.

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For this reason, it can be said that Linux directories are special files that serve to collect more files in an organized way. In this way, the foundation of the Linux system is established.

How to remove or delete a Linux file or directory

Unlike Windows, Linux works through a hierarchy called the file system that is not directly tied to hardware. For this reason, it is essential to know how to search for files in Linux and how to delete them knowing that there is a path or Path where all files and directories are linked.

Delete a file from Linux

Before deleting a file from Linux, you must access the system terminal. To do this, press the key combination Ctrl + Alt + T. Once you access the terminal, you can rename files in Linux if you wish and apply a series of commands to execute the deletion.

Linux has a command called “rm” for deleting files. If you want to delete a particular file, just type rm followed by the name of the file and its extension. Therefore, if it is a text file, the line will be: rm file.txt where “file” must be replaced by the original name of the file.

Can I delete multiple files at the same time?

It is possible to delete several files with the same extension through a different process than we do in other operating systems . To do this, you must write the following line: rm * .extension, replacing “extension” with the real name of the extension of the group of files you want to delete.

Delete a Linux directory

To delete a Linux directory it is recommended to use the file manager, although the terminal can also be used. If you go through the file manager you can navigate in it until you reach the directory you want to delete.

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On the other hand, if you prefer to use the terminal, you will need the command “rmdir”. However, we advise you to check what the directory contains before proceeding to delete it since the rmdir command will only be useful to delete empty folders.

How to use the rmdir command

To delete a directory from the Linux terminal, just type rmdir followed by the directory name. It is important to mention that for this command to take effect you must have logged into the VPS server using SSH.

Can I delete multiple directories at the same time?

It is possible to delete multiple directories at once on Linux. To do this, type the command rmdir and the name of each directory separated by a space. If any directory contains files or subdirectories you will see an error that refers to the impossibility of executing the action you have requested.

How to delete Linux directories containing files and subdirectories

If you want to remove directories that contain subdirectories and files, then the rm command is valid. With –r you can delete the sequence of folders and what they contain. You can also handle the –i command to confirm the removal process and –rf to perform a force removal of directories. In this way, you will avoid making a mistake.

Hence, Linux directory removal requires a line of code like this: rm –r directory_name or rm –i directory_name for successful execution.

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