Under Unix-derived operating systems (Linux, Mac OS X, etc.), there are a pair of commands used to delete files and directories.
rm is used to "remove" file(s),
rmdir is used to "remove directory".
If you try to use
rm to delete a directory, you get this:
$ rm directory rm: directory: is a directory
Why is this? Why is it necessary to use
rmdir to delete a directory, when
rm could do that?
The real irony is that
rmdir can only remove empty directories.
$ rmdir nonemptydirectory rmdir: nonemptydirectory: Directory not empty
If you really mean to delete a directory and everything under it, you need to use this command:
$ rm -r directory
The "-r" tells the
rm command to operate recursively (meaning, delete this and everything under it). Sometimes a "-f" option is also included to force deletion of files that
rm would otherwise ask twice about.
All I'm saying is that
rm should be able to delete an empty directory if asked. If the given directory is not empty, it would complain (unless "-r" is specified).