Section: POSIX Programmer's Manual (1P)
This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual.
The Linux implementation of this interface may differ (consult
the corresponding Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior),
or the interface may not be implemented on Linux.
--- remove directories
rmdir [-p] dir...
utility shall remove the directory entry specified by each
utility shall perform actions equivalent to the
function called with the
operand as its only argument.
Directories shall be processed in the order specified. If a directory
and a subdirectory of that directory are specified in a single
invocation of the
utility, the application shall specify the subdirectory before the
parent directory so that the parent directory will be empty when the
utility tries to remove it.
utility shall conform to the Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1-2008,
, Utility Syntax Guidelines.
The following option shall be supported:
Remove all directories in a pathname. For each
The directory entry it names shall be removed.
operand includes more than one pathname component, effects equivalent
to the following command shall occur:
rmdir -p $(dirname dir)
The following operand shall be supported:
A pathname of an empty directory to be removed.
The following environment variables shall affect the execution of
Provide a default value for the internationalization variables that are
unset or null. (See the Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1-2008,
Section 8.2, Internationalization Variables
for the precedence of internationalization variables used to determine
the values of locale categories.)
If set to a non-empty string value, override the values of all the
other internationalization variables.
Determine the locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes of
text data as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to
multi-byte characters in arguments).
Determine the locale that should be used to affect the format and
contents of diagnostic messages written to standard error.
Determine the location of message catalogs for the processing of
The standard error shall be used only for diagnostic messages.
The following exit values shall be returned:
Each directory entry specified by a
operand was removed successfully.
An error occurred.
CONSEQUENCES OF ERRORS
The following sections are informative.
The definition of an empty directory is one that contains, at most,
directory entries for dot and dot-dot.
If a directory
in the current directory is empty except it contains a directory
is empty except it contains a directory
rmdir -p a/b/c
removes all three directories.
On historical System V systems, the
option also caused a message to be written to the standard output. The
message indicated whether the whole path was removed or whether part of
the path remained for some reason. The STDERR section requires this
diagnostic when the entire path specified by a
operand is not removed, but does not allow the status message reporting
success to be written as a diagnostic.
utility on System V also included a
option that suppressed the informational message output by the
option. This option has been omitted because the informational message
is not specified by this volume of POSIX.1-2008.
The Base Definitions volume of POSIX.1-2008,
Chapter 8, Environment Variables,
Section 12.2, Utility Syntax Guidelines
The System Interfaces volume of POSIX.1-2008,
Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form
from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition, Standard for Information Technology
-- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base
Specifications Issue 7, Copyright (C) 2013 by the Institute of
Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group.
(This is POSIX.1-2008 with the 2013 Technical Corrigendum 1 applied.) In the
event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and
The Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard
is the referee document. The original Standard can be obtained online at
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