Deleting files on a Linux system is a fundamental task that every user should know how to perform efficiently and safely. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced Linux user, this comprehensive guide will walk you through various methods and commands to delete files, directories, and even recoverable data. So, grab your terminal and get ready to master the art of file deletion on Linux.
- A terminal or command line window (Alt+Ctrl+T or Ctrl+Alt+F2)
- A user account that has
sudo access (optional)
Understanding File Permissions:
Understanding File Permissions Before diving into file deletion, it’s crucial to grasp Linux file permissions and ownership. This section will explain the concepts of read, write, and execute permissions, ensuring you have the necessary knowledge to manage files effectively.
How to delete or remove files from Linux
Learn the fundamentals of using the
rm command to remove particular files. Investigate several possibilities, such as forcing a deletion, asking for confirmation, and simultaneously deleting many files using wildcards.
Enter the following command in the command line to remove a single file:
You can delete multiple files simultaneously by using the
rm filename_1 filename_2 filename_3
This command supports the usage of wildcards.
For example, type the following to remove all files with the.bmp extension:
Additionally, using this technique, all files containing a given string of characters are deleted:
Any file with the word “sample” in its name will be deleted as a result.
The program will look for the file you want to delete in the current directory.
Change to the desired directory first in order to delete a file there:
Alternatively, you can directly specify the file location in a single command:
Note: Once the
rm command has deleted a file, you will not be able to access it. The only way to retrieve a file would be to restore it from a backup (if one is available).
Options for the rm command
By adding options, the
rm command’s behavior can be modified. A hyphen, followed by one or more characters that represent commands, designates an option.
A confirmation prompt should be added if you’re Deleting Files. To use a dialog that is interactive, use the
rm –i *.key
yes” or “
no” to confirm the deletion of the specified files.
cloudbooklet@localhost ~j$ rm -i *.key
rm: remove write protected regular file 'ca.key'? no
rm: remove regular file 'yourdomain.key'? yes
-v or verbose option, the deletion’s progress will be shown:
rm –v *.txt
The output demonstrates that the removal of the
test.txt file was successful.
cloudbooklet@localhost ~j$ rm -v *.key
-f option to compel the deletion of a write-protected file:
rm –f filename
To delete a file that displays “Access denied” and utilize
sudo rm filename
Deleting Empty Directories with rmdir Command
Find out how to use the
rmdir command to instantly delete empty directories. We’ll go over instances where this command is helpful and talk about scenarios.
- Removes empty directories and files using the
rm command deletes a directory or folder and all of its files and subdirectories.
You can delete a directory and every file inside of it by using the
-r (-R) option with the
-r option in the command: to delete a directory and everything inside it recursively.
rm –r dir_name
This will ask for your approval before deleting.
Without asking for permission, delete a directory
rm –rf directory
Also, you can delete more than one directory or folder at a time:
rm –r dir_name1 dir_name2 dir_name3
Linux’s rmdir command removes directories
It can be challenging to delete directories and their contents, but stay calm! This part will walk you through the
rm command’s recursive (
-r) option, which makes it simple to remove directories and their subdirectories.
To delete empty files and directories in Linux, use the
rmdir command solely. An error message is shown in the output if a specified directory is not empty.
The standard syntax for Deleting Files empty Linux files and directories is as follows:
Additionally, you may remove multiple empty folders sequentially by typing:
One of the directories in the list will be skipped if the command discovers material there, and the command will move on to the next directory.
Also read: SCP Command in Linux: A Beginner’s Guide to Secure File Transfers
Deleting Files and Directories in Linux – FAQs
How do I Deleting Files using the command line in Linux?
In Linux, you can Deleting Files by using the
rm command followed by the file’s name. For instance, the command
rm myfile.txt deletes the “myfile.txt” file.
In Linux, is it possible to delete multiple files at once?
Yes, you can remove multiple files at once by separating their names with spaces. For instance, “file1.txt” and “file2.txt” will both be deleted by the command “rm”.
Is it possible to securely Deleting Files under Linux?
Yes, you can securely eliminate files using the shred command by overwriting their data. For instance, “myfile.txt” will be overwritten and deleted if shred -u is used.
What happens if I Deleting Files without giving a directory the -r option?
The rm command will produce an error message and refuse to delete a directory if you attempt to remove it without using the -r option.
In Linux, how can I Deleting Files a directory and everything inside it?
Use the -r or –recursive option with the rm command to delete a directory and all of its contents at once. As an illustration, the command rm -r mydirectory removes “mydirectory” and all of its files and subdirectories.
Finally, while Deleting files on Linux, exercise caution and follow best practices. Verify the files before deleting them, whether you’re using the rm command, graphical file managers, or secure deletion techniques. Regular file cleansing keeps systems running smoothly and reduces data clutter. When Deleting files in Linux, take care to be methodical and careful. Please feel free to share your thoughts and feedback in the comment section below.