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Recipe 9.13. Creating Files and Directories

9.13.1 Problem

You want to organize your files by placing them in directories. But where do directories come from? For that matter, how do you create a file?

9.13.2 Solution

Use mkdir and touch.

mkdir creates directories. Mind your filepaths! This comand creates a new subdirectory in the current directory:

$ mkdir photos

This creates a new top-level directory. Only the superuser can do this:

# mkdir /local_bins

You can set permissions when you create a directory:

# mkdir -m 755 /shared

To create a subdirectory and all of its parent directories at once, use the -p flag:

$ mkdir -p photos/scanned/jpgs/thumbs

Most files are created by a program, such as a word processor, image editor, or compiler. You can also create a new, empty file with touch:

$ touch newfile.txt

9.13.3 Discussion

touch is useful in scripting, when you need the script to create a new file. It's also useful for creating placeholders, or for populating a directory for testing things.

9.13.4 See Also

  • mkdir(1), touch(1)

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