The mkdir utility shall create the directories specified by the operands,
in the order specified.
For each dir operand, the mkdir utility shall perform actions
equivalent to the mkdir() function defined in the System Interfaces
volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, called with the following
The dir operand is used as the path
The value of the bitwise-inclusive OR of S_IRWXU, S_IRWXG,
and S_IRWXO is used as the mode argument. (If the -m option
is specified, the mode option-argument overrides this
The mkdir utility shall conform to the Base Definitions volume of
IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Section 12.2, Utility Syntax Guidelines.
The following options shall be supported:
Set the file permission bits of the newly-created directory
to the specified mode value. The mode option-argument shall
be the same as the mode operand defined for the chmod
utility. In the symbolic_mode strings, the op characters
'+' and '-' shall be interpreted relative to an assumed
initial mode of a= rwx; '+' shall add permissions to
the default mode, '-' shall delete permissions from the default
Create any missing intermediate pathname components.
For each dir operand that does not name an existing directory, effects
equivalent to those caused by the following command shall occur:
The following environment variables shall affect the execution of mkdir:
Provide a default value for the internationalization
variables that are unset or null. (See the Base Definitions volume of
IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Section 8.2, Internationalization
Variables for the precedence of internationalization variables used to
determine the values of locale categories.)
If set to a non-empty string value, override the values of
all the other internationalization variables.
Determine the locale for the interpretation of sequences of
bytes of text data as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to
multi-byte characters in arguments).
Determine the locale that should be used to affect the
format and contents of diagnostic messages written to standard error.
Determine the location of message catalogs for the
processing of LC_MESSAGES.
The default file mode for directories is a= rwx (777 on most
systems) with selected permissions removed in accordance with the file mode
creation mask. For intermediate pathname components created by mkdir,
the mode is the default modified by u+ wx so that the
subdirectories can always be created regardless of the file mode creation
mask; if different ultimate permissions are desired for the intermediate
directories, they can be changed afterwards with chmod.
Note that some of the requested directories may have been created even if an
The System V -m option was included to control the file mode.
The System V -p option was included to create any needed intermediate
directories and to complement the functionality provided by rmdir for
removing directories in the path prefix as they become empty. Because no error
is produced if any path component already exists, the -p option is also
useful to ensure that a particular directory exists.
The functionality of mkdir is described substantially through a reference
to the mkdir() function in the System Interfaces volume of
IEEE Std 1003.1-2001. For example, by default, the mode of the
directory is affected by the file mode creation mask in accordance with the
specified behavior of the mkdir() function. In this way, there is less
duplication of effort required for describing details of the directory
Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form from IEEE
Std 1003.1, 2003 Edition, Standard for Information Technology -- Portable
Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue
6, Copyright (C) 2001-2003 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. In the event of any discrepancy between
this version and the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard, the original
IEEE and The Open Group Standard is the referee document. The original
Standard can be obtained online at http://www.opengroup.org/unix/online.html