What command do I have to use to delete all directories that begin with graphene-80 under the directory /tmp?

What can I add to the rm command as option?

  • Just empty directories, or the contents too?
    – ilkkachu
    Feb 7, 2018 at 15:50

4 Answers 4


To delete the directories matching the pattern graphene-80* directly under /tmp, use

rm -rf /tmp/graphene-80*/

Here, the trailing / ensures that only directories whose names match the graphene-80* pattern are deleted (or symbolic links to directories), and not files etc.

To find the matching directories elsewhere under /tmp and delete them wherever they may be, use

find /tmp -type d -name 'graphene-80*' -prune -exec rm -rf {} +

To additionally see the names of the directories as they are deleted, insert -print before -exec.

The two tests -type d and -name 'graphene-80*' tests for directories with the names that we're looking for. The -prune removes the found directory from the search path (we don't want to look inside these directories as they are being deleted), and the -exec, finally, does the actual removal by means of calling rm.


Using find command:

find /tmp -type d -name 'graphene-80*' -delete

Arguments used:

  • -type to filter directory only and avoid finding files
  • -name to find file that match the pattern define between quotes
  • -delete to delete the result of the find command

EDIT: cleaner with -delete like shown in this post: Find files matching template and remove

  • 2
    cannot delete. directory not empty
    – gebbissimo
    Jul 13, 2021 at 8:59

To remove just empty directories with names matching graphene-80*, either

find /tmp -type d -name "graphene-80*" -exec rmdir {} +


find /tmp -type d -name "graphene-80*" -delete

(rmdir and GNU find should give you errors for the nonempty ones.)

To remove the directories with their contents:

find /tmp -type d -name "graphene-80*" -exec rm -r {} \; -prune

(With -exec rm + you may get errors from rm if there are nested matching directories; and without -prune, from find since it tries to descend to the just-removed directories.)

  • Why not just find /tmp -name 'graphene-80*' -type d -prune -exec rm -rf {} +? May 15, 2021 at 18:18

You can use the following command:

rm -rf `find -type d -name folder_name`

Just replace the folder_name and you'll be good to go.


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