If you try to remove a non-empty directory using the
rmdir command or any other Linux command, you will likely receive an error message saying that the directory is not empty. This is because the
rmdir command is only used to remove empty directories.
Sometimes there are many error occurs in deleting or removing the non-empty directory in linux. But you want to remove/delete the non-empty directories. So, In this tutorial, you will learn how to remove a non-empty directory in Linux using rm -r command, find, and rmdir -options to remove non-empty directories.
How to Remove a Non-Empty Directory in Linux
By using these methods, you can remove non-empty directories in linux:
- Method 1: Using the rm Command
- Method 2: Using the find Command
- Method 3: Using the rmdir Command with the –ignore-fail-on-non-empty Option
Method 1: Using the rm Command
Execute the following command on terminal to remove a non-empty directory:
rm -r directory_name
In the above command, the
-r option tells the
rm command to remove the directory recursively. This means that it will remove all the files and directories within the specified directory as well.
Method 2: Using the find Command
Another command to remove a non-empty directory in Linux is by using the
find command. So, execute the following command on terminal to remove a non-empty directory:
find directory_name -delete
This command will find all the files and directories within the specified directory and delete them, including the directory itself.
Method 3: Using the rmdir Command with the –ignore-fail-on-non-empty Option
rmdir command cannot remove non-empty directories, it has an option called
--ignore-fail-on-non-empty that allows you to remove directories that are not empty. To use this option, you can execute the following command on terminal:
rmdir --ignore-fail-on-non-empty directory_name
The above command will remove the specified directory and all its contents. However, if any files or subdirectories within the specified directory are read-only, the
rmdir command will fail to remove them.
Here are some frequently asked answers on How to Remove a Non Empty Directory in Linux:
Q: Will the “rm -r” command prompt for confirmation before deleting the directory and its contents?
A: No, the “rm -r” command will not prompt for confirmation before deleting the directory and its contents. It will delete everything in the directory without any confirmation.
Q: Can I recover a deleted directory and its contents in Linux?
A: No, once you delete a directory and its contents in Linux using the “rm -r” command, it cannot be recovered. It is recommended to double-check the directory and its contents before deleting it.
Q: Can I remove a non-empty directory without deleting its contents?
A: No, it is not possible to remove a non-empty directory without deleting its contents. You can move the contents of the directory to another location before deleting the directory.
Q: How can I remove a non-empty directory and its contents with confirmation prompts?
A: You can use the “rm -ri” command to remove a non-empty directory and its contents with confirmation prompts. The “i” option stands for “interactive” and will prompt you for confirmation before deleting each file and directory in the specified directory.
Q: What happens if I try to remove a non-empty directory without using the “-r” option?
A: If you try to remove a non-empty directory without using the “-r” option, you will get an error message stating that the directory is not empty, and you will not be able to remove it.
Q: Can I remove a non-empty directory located on a network drive?
A: Yes, you can remove a non-empty directory located on a network drive using the same “rm -r” command that you would use for a directory located on your local machine. However, you will need to have the appropriate permissions to delete files and directories on the network drive, and you may also need to be connected to the network in order to access the drive.
Removing a non-empty directory in Linux can be accomplished using various methods. The most common methods are using the
rm command with the
-r option, the
find command with the
-delete option, or the
rmdir command with the
--ignore-fail-on-non-empty option. However, it is important to be cautious when using these commands as they can remove important files or directories unintentionally. Therefore, make sure you are deleting the correct directory before executing the command.