HDFS Delete Directories: hadoop fs -rmdir

The hadoop fs -rmdir command is used to delete a directory in Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS).

In this blog post, we will explore the hadoop fs -rmdir command’s usage and its most commonly used flags with examples to help you become proficient in deleting directories in HDFS.

Another command, hadoop fs -rm, provides an extended range of capabilities and serves as a versatile option for deleting both files and directories. For a comprehensive understanding of the hadoop fs -rm command, you can refer to the content covered in this blog post.

Command Syntax:

hadoop fs -rmdir [options] <path>
  • path: The path to the directory to be deleted.
  • options: The following options are available:
    • -f: Force the deletion, even if the directory is not empty.
      • Example: hadoop fs -rmdir -f /user/hadoop/mydir

Remove Empty Directory

This basic usage of the command removes the specified empty directory from HDFS.

hadoop fs -rmdir <path>


In this example, the command removes the empty directory named empty_dir from the /user/hadoop/ directory in HDFS.

hadoop fs -rmdir /user/hadoop/empty_dir/

Forceful Removal (-f)

The -f flag allows you to forcefully remove the directory, even if it’s not empty.

hadoop fs -rmdir -f <path>


By using the -f flag, the command forcefully removes the directory non_empty_dir even though it contains files.

hadoop fs -rmdir -f /user/hadoop/non_empty_dir/

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