To delete a file or folder using SSH, we use the rm command accompanied by some options as the circumstance may require. Below, we show you the different ways and options of deleting a file or folder using SSH.

Delete a Single File Using SSH

To delete a single file using SSH, use the command below:

rm path/to/file/filename.extension

For example, if the file is named myfile.txt and is located in the home/user/ directory, then use the command below.

rm home/user/myfile.txt

Of course, if the file is located within the current directory of operation, we don't need to type the full path to the file. Instead, we simply use the file name without the path, that is;

rm filename.extension

For example 

rm myfile.txt

Delete a Single Folder Using SSH

To delete a single folder using SSH, we use a similar syntax to that of deleting a single file, that is,

rm path/to/folder

For example, to delete a folder named coconuts located in the home/user/ directory, we use 

rm home/user/coconuts

Just like for file deletion, if the folder we want to remove is located within the current directory of operation, then, we simply use the folder name without the full path, that is;

rm folder

For example, if the folder name is coconuts, then we simply use

rm coconuts

Delete a Single Folder and All Its Content (Sub-folders and Files) Recursively

To delete a single folder and all its sub-folders and files (recursively), we shall use the rm command together with the -r option, that is;

rm -r path/to/folder

For example, to delete a folder named coconuts located in the home/user/ directory together will all its files and sub-folders, we shall use;

rm -r home/user/coconuts

Similarly, just like discussed earlier, if the folder is located within the current directory, we shall simply use the folder name without the path, that is;

rm -r folder

For example, if the folder is named coconuts, then we simply use

rm -r coconuts

Delete All Files, Folders, and Sub-folders Within the Current Folder or Directory

Like you must be already aware, we use * to refer to all. That means, if we use the rm command with * in place of the file/folder path, then we are commanding it to remove all. Therefore, to delete all files, folders, and sub-folders within the current directory, we shall simply use

rm -r *

Conclusion

You now know how to delete files and folders using SSH or shell access. We hope you had a nice read! It's important to note that in each of the commands above, you will be prompted for confirmation before the command is executed. If you would like to read our other article on how to remove files and folders using SSH without being prompted for a confirmation, please find it here.

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  • Last Updated: Thursday April 16, 2020 14:57:06
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