Linux rm command for deleting files from the command line
The Linux rm command is how to go about deleting files from the command line. The basic use case of the command is simple enough I just need to call the command and pass the path to the file that I want to delete as the first and only argument. However things might get a little complicated when it comes to things like, deleting folders, deleting files recursively, or running into problems with things that have to do with files access permissions.
So in this post I will be going over a few simple example of the Linux rm command, and also write about some other closely related topics when it comes to creating files and folders also because I have to have something to delete before I can delete it after all. So in the process of covering the Linux rm command I will end up touching base on at least a few other commands and bash features.
1 - Basic Linux rm command example
In this example I am using the Linux echo command, and Linux redirection to create a simple test text file. I can then use the Linux ls command as a way to list the contents of the current working folder, this will confirm that the file is there. Now to use the rm command to delete the file, for this I just need to call rm and then give a path to the file that I want to delete.
2 - Remove an empty folder
To remove an empty folder I can use the -d option to do so. In this example I am using the Linux mkdir command to create an empty folder, and then then use ls to make sure it is there. I am then using the rm command with the -d option to then just go ahead and dlete the file.
In many cases I will want to delete not just a folder, but all the consents of the folder although though to do this I will just need to be aware of one more additional typically options that is used to preform a recursive deleting of a folder and all its contents.
3 Remove a folder and all of its contents
In order to delete a folder and all of its contents I will need to use the -d option as well as the -r option. This will result in deleting not just the folder itself, but recursively delete all folders and files in the folder also.
4 - Conclusion
So then the rm command is how to go about deleting files, folders, and all the contents of a folder including the folder. In most cases I can use just the rm command by itself in order to delete what I want to delete, but in some cases I might run into problems with file access permissions. If I have the authority to do so I can use a command like chmod along with sudo to change the permissions of a file, and then delete it.
There is then getting into writing all kinds of bash scripts than can be used to loop over the contents of a folder and only delete files that meet some kind of condition. In the event that I get some more time to come around an delete this post I might expand this post with a few of those kinds of examples.