12.7 rmdir: Remove empty directories

rmdir removes empty directories. Synopsis:

rmdir [option]… directory…

If any directory argument does not refer to an existing empty directory, it is an error.

The program accepts the following options. Also see Common options.


Ignore each failure to remove a directory that is solely because the directory is non-empty.


Remove directory, then try to remove each component of directory. So, for example, ‘rmdir -p a/b/c’ is similar to ‘rmdir a/b/c a/b a’. As such, it fails if any of those directories turns out not to be empty. Use the --ignore-fail-on-non-empty option to make it so such a failure does not evoke a diagnostic and does not cause rmdir to exit unsuccessfully.


Give a diagnostic for each successful removal. directory is removed.

See rm invocation, for how to remove non-empty directories (recursively).

An exit status of zero indicates success, and a nonzero value indicates failure.