Linux: Creating and Deleting Directories and Files

  1. Using the Linux Command Line
  2. The Linux Directory Tree
  3. Linux Shells and Basic Commands
  4. Changing Passwords
  5. Your Home Directory
  6. User Information
  7. Linux User Default Files
  8. Linux User Profiles and Paths
  9. sudo and su –
  10. Listing Files and Going Deep Into Filesystems
  11. Linux: Creating and Deleting Directories and Files

The first principle of file creation is that when you, as a specific user, create a file, it will be owned by you, and your default group will have some default permissions set on that file. Remember the User – Group – Other trio.

Create a directory:

mkdir demo

You can create several at once:

mkdir one two three

Run an ls to see the results:

ls -la

Especially note the user and group permissions the directories have.

Remove directories:

rmdir one two three

…which will work just fine as long as there is nothing inside each directory. But usually there is, so we use a completely different command to deal with directories with files inside them:

rm -r one two three

This will force you to answer “yes” over and over for each file deleted. You can make the process silent by “forcing” it:

rm -rf one two three

Create a file:

If you just want to create an empty file, you can use this method:

touch myfile

Note that touch is actually a command that just updates the last-updated date of the file, so it looks newer. This used to be handy to keep sysadmins from deleting old but critical stuff.

What’s nice about touch is that if a file exists, it just gets its date changed. If the file doesn’t exist, it is created. This is very handy in scripting.

Delete a file:

rm myfile

There is no “recycle bin” – the file is gone for good.