Single command to delete a directory

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# 1  
Old 10-13-2009
Single command to delete a directory

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1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data:

Write a command that will delete the john directory, and all of its contents. The problem I can't firgure out is how to create a absoute path to the john directory. I'm in the paul working directory which is cd ../john away, so the paul and john directorys are children directorys to the home directory

2. Relevant commands, code, scripts, algorithms:

rm -r john

3. The attempts at a solution (include all code and scripts):

rm -r john ../john

4. School (University) and Course Number:UWM Into to unix
# 2  
Old 10-13-2009

You are close, but need to force it (as well as simply recursing it)

Do you need to specify the absolute path? ../john would be enough if you're in the paul directory, and they're both in the home directory.

$ pwd
$ ls -d ../john
drwxr-xr-x 4 john students     4096 Aug 28 12:18 john

Last edited by Scott; 10-13-2009 at 06:28 PM..
# 3  
Old 10-13-2009
I tried that I prolly didnt explain it very well I'm in the Paul directory so I have to go up one to the home directory than down one to the John directory and delete it, with all its contents
# 4  
Old 10-13-2009
Going back to your original question, an absolute path is one which starts with / (the root directory)

If your directory is /home/paul and john is ../john from where you are, then john is in /home/paul/../john.

/home/paul # pwd
/home/paul # cd /home/paul/../john
/home/john # pwd

.. means parent, therefore john is in the parent of paul, which is /home

i.e /home/john

It's probably best if you delete john from /home instead of /home/john

cd /home
rm -rf john

or as you have to move up one (..)

cd ..
rm -rf john

If we decide to start handing out medals for who can explain things stupidly, I must be a contender!
# 5  
Old 10-13-2009
It has to be all in one command so I cant cd.. than rm -r john
# 6  
Old 10-13-2009
Then don't

cd ..
rm -rf john

is the same as

rm -rf ../john

Or if you have to use an absolute path, given what you know

rm -rf /home/john

(but I should add, that only root would normally be allowed to remove john!)

Last edited by Scott; 02-21-2010 at 03:53 PM..
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