Linux: Managing Directories

Linux commands for managing the directories: mkdir, rmdir, ls, cd, and pwd

  • You can create and remove your own directories, as well as change your working directory, with the mkdir, rmdir, and cd commands
  • Each of these commands can take as its argument the pathname for a directory
  • The pwd command displays the absolute pathname of your working directory
  • In addition to these commands, the special characters represented by a single dot, a double dot, and a tilde can be used to reference the working directory, the parent of the working directory, and the home directory, respectively
  • You can create one directory inside another directory, move from one directory to another, and use pathnames to reference any of your directories

Creating and Deleting Directories

  • You create and remove directories with the mkdir and rmdir commands
  • In either case, you can also use pathnames for the directories
  • In the following example, the user creates the directory named as bank

  • Example: mkdir bank

  • In the following example user creates the directory krithika using a pathname

  • Example: mkdir /home/vish/krithika

  • You can remove a directory with the rmdir command followed by the directory name
  • In the next example, the user removes the directory bank with the rmdir command

  • Example: rmdir bank

  • To remove a directory and all its subdirectories, you use the rm command with the -r option
  • This is a very powerful command and can easily be used to erase all your files
  • If your rm command is aliased as rm -i (interactive mode), you will be prompted for each file
  • To simply remove all files and subdirectories without prompts, add the -f option
  • In the following example user deletes the bank directory and all its subdirectories
  • Example: rm -rf bank

    Displaying Directory Contents

  • Use different switches of ls to display the contents of the directory
  • Even you can display the contents of a subdirectory without actually going there . You can use the path
  • In the following example user displays the content of directory which is the subdirectory of mgm1 and mgm1 is the subdirectory of mgm
  • Example: ls mgm/mgm1/mgm2

    Moving Through Directories

  • The cd command takes as its argument the name of the directory to which you want to change
  • The name of the directory can be the name of a subdirectory in your working directory or the full pathname of any directory on the system
  • If you want to change back to your home directory, you only need to enter the cd command by itself, without a filename argument
  • In the following example user changes to the directory named suvarni from the current directory

  • Example: cd suvarni

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