Modifying the Filesystem

In the filesystem lesson, you were introduced to the filesystem, learned how to navigate directories, and learned several navigation shortcuts. Now that you have some foundation for moving around the filesystem, you will learn how to modify directories and files, and start to discover the true power of command-line workflows.

In this lesson, you will discover another element of the command line — how to create and delete directories, as well as copy, move, and rename directories and files. These commands can give you a lot of power, including destructive power. One wrong move, and everything could be gone — and it’s not easy to restore files after deleting them using the command line. In this lesson, you’ll learn to wield this power responsibly.

By the end of this lesson, you should feel completely confident in using the command line to modify the filesystem and navigate comfortably through it to speed up your workflow. At this point in your learning, you can check out our blog post 12 Essential Command Line Tools for Data Scientists tutorial, which has some commands that will help you become more comfortable with modifying the filesystem and using the terminal/command line in general! The tutorial includes commands like head, tail, and many others, which are also covered in more depth in our Text Processing in the CLI course.


  • How to create directories
  • How to delete directories and files
  • How to copy directories and files
  • How to move and rename directories and files

Lesson Outline

  1. Creating Directories
  2. Deleting Directories
  3. Failing to Delete Directories
  4. Copying Files
  5. Hidden Danger of Copying Files
  6. Copying Directories
  7. Deleting Directories and Files
  8. Moving and Renaming Directories and Files
  9. Next Steps
  10. Takeaways

Get started for free

No credit card required.

Or With

By creating an account you agree to accept our terms of use and privacy policy.