Linux 101: How to create a directory from the command line

Linux 101: How to create a directory from the command line

If you’re new to Linux administration, Jack Wallen shows you a skill you’ll definitely need to have–creating directories from the command line interface.

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Hello admins, Jack Wallen here with a Linux 101-level tip. This time around we’re going to learn how to create a directory from the command line. I know, it sounds incredibly basic. It is, but it’s also a skill you’re going to need to know. Why? Because at some point you’re going to be faced with administering a Linux server without a GUI. 

When that happens, you’ll be glad you know how to create a directory from the CLI. 

But how do you do it? It’s actually incredibly simple. 

SEE: Kubernetes security guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Once you’ve logged into your server, create a directory named test in your home directory with the command:

mkdir ~/test

It’s that simple, but let’s dig a bit deeper. 

Say you want to create the directory test within project in your home directory, but project had yet to be created. If you issue the command mkdir ~/project/test, you’ll see the error that test cannot be created because there’s no such file or directory named project. 

In order to make this work, you have to add the -p option as in:

 mkdir -p ~/project/test

The -p option stands for parents, which instructs mkdir to create the parent(s) directory (or directories) as needed. 

What if you need to create a number of directories? Say you have ~/projects created and you want to create directories for Java, JavaScript, and dotNet? Change into projects with the command:

cd ~/projects 

Then issue the command:  

mkdir java javascript dotNet 

Or, you could do the same thing from outside the projects directory with a command like:

mkdir ~/projects/{java,javascript,dotNet}

You can even set the permissions of a directory with the mkdir command. 

If you want to create the folder data, but limit all access permissions to the owner, do that with the command: 

mkdir -m=700 ~/data

Or, if you wanted to give user and group full permission, but leave out other, you could issue the command: 

mkdir -m=770 ~/data

And that’s all there is to creating directories in Linux with the mkdir command. Your dream of becoming a Linux admin is a bit closer to coming true.

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Image: Jack Wallen

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