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UNLINK(2)		   Linux Programmer's Manual		     UNLINK(2)

NAME
       unlink, unlinkat	- delete a name	and possibly the file it refers	to

SYNOPSIS
       #include	<unistd.h>

       int unlink(const	char *pathname);

       #include	<fcntl.h>	    /* Definition of AT_* constants */
       #include	<unistd.h>

       int unlinkat(int	dirfd, const char *pathname, int flags);

   Feature Test	Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):

       unlinkat():
	   Since glibc 2.10:
	       _XOPEN_SOURCE >=	700 || _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L
	   Before glibc	2.10:
	       _ATFILE_SOURCE

DESCRIPTION
       unlink()	deletes	a name from the	filesystem.  If	that name was the last
       link to a file and no processes have the	file open, the file is deleted
       and the space it	was using is made available for	reuse.

       If  the	name  was the last link	to a file but any processes still have
       the file	open, the file will remain in existence	until  the  last  file
       descriptor referring to it is closed.

       If the name referred to a symbolic link,	the link is removed.

       If  the	name referred to a socket, FIFO, or device, the	name for it is
       removed but processes which have	the object open	may  continue  to  use
       it.

   unlinkat()
       The  unlinkat()	system call operates in	exactly	the same way as	either
       unlink()	or rmdir(2) (depending on whether or not  flags	 includes  the
       AT_REMOVEDIR flag) except for the differences described here.

       If  the	pathname given in pathname is relative,	then it	is interpreted
       relative	to the directory referred to  by  the  file  descriptor	 dirfd
       (rather	than  relative to the current working directory	of the calling
       process,	as is done by unlink() and rmdir(2) for	a relative pathname).

       If the pathname given in	pathname is relative and dirfd is the  special
       value  AT_FDCWD,	 then  pathname	is interpreted relative	to the current
       working directory of the	calling	process	(like unlink() and rmdir(2)).

       If the pathname given in	pathname is absolute, then dirfd is ignored.

       flags is	a bit mask that	can either be specified	as 0, or by ORing  to-
       gether flag values that control the operation of	unlinkat().  Currently
       only one	such flag is defined:

       AT_REMOVEDIR
	      By default, unlinkat() performs the equivalent  of  unlink()  on
	      pathname.	  If the AT_REMOVEDIR flag is specified, then performs
	      the equivalent of	rmdir(2) on pathname.

       See openat(2) for an explanation	of the need for	unlinkat().

RETURN VALUE
       On success, zero	is returned.  On error,	-1 is returned,	and  errno  is
       set appropriately.

ERRORS
       EACCES Write access to the directory containing pathname	is not allowed
	      for the process's	effective UID, or one of  the  directories  in
	      pathname	did not	allow search permission.  (See also path_reso-
	      lution(7).)

       EBUSY  The file pathname	cannot be unlinked because it is being used by
	      the  system or another process; for example, it is a mount point
	      or the NFS client	software created it to represent an active but
	      otherwise	nameless inode ("NFS silly renamed").

       EFAULT pathname points outside your accessible address space.

       EIO    An I/O error occurred.

       EISDIR pathname	refers	to  a directory.  (This	is the non-POSIX value
	      returned by Linux	since 2.1.132.)

       ELOOP  Too many symbolic	links were encountered	in  translating	 path-
	      name.

       ENAMETOOLONG
	      pathname was too long.

       ENOENT A	component in pathname does not exist or	is a dangling symbolic
	      link, or pathname	is empty.

       ENOMEM Insufficient kernel memory was available.

       ENOTDIR
	      A	component used as a directory in pathname is not, in  fact,  a
	      directory.

       EPERM  The system does not allow	unlinking of directories, or unlinking
	      of directories requires  privileges  that	 the  calling  process
	      doesn't  have.   (This  is the POSIX prescribed error return; as
	      noted above, Linux returns EISDIR	for this case.)

       EPERM (Linux only)
	      The filesystem does not allow unlinking of files.

       EPERM or	EACCES
	      The directory containing pathname	has the	sticky	bit  (S_ISVTX)
	      set  and	the  process's effective UID is	neither	the UID	of the
	      file to be deleted nor that of the directory containing it,  and
	      the  process  is	not  privileged	 (Linux:  does	not  have  the
	      CAP_FOWNER capability).

       EROFS  pathname refers to a file	on a read-only filesystem.

       The same	errors that occur for unlink() and rmdir(2) can	also occur for
       unlinkat().  The	following additional errors can	occur for unlinkat():

       EBADF  dirfd is not a valid file	descriptor.

       EINVAL An invalid flag value was	specified in flags.

       EISDIR pathname	refers to a directory, and AT_REMOVEDIR	was not	speci-
	      fied in flags.

       ENOTDIR
	      pathname is relative and dirfd is	a file descriptor referring to
	      a	file other than	a directory.

VERSIONS
       unlinkat()  was	added  to  Linux in kernel 2.6.16; library support was
       added to	glibc in version 2.4.

CONFORMING TO
       unlink(): SVr4, 4.3BSD, POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008.

       unlinkat(): POSIX.1-2008.

NOTES
   Glibc notes
       On older	kernels	where unlinkat() is  unavailable,  the	glibc  wrapper
       function	falls back to the use of unlink(2) or rmdir(2).	 When pathname
       is a relative pathname, glibc constructs	a pathname based on  the  sym-
       bolic link in /proc/self/fd that	corresponds to the dirfd argument.

BUGS
       Infelicities  in	 the  protocol underlying NFS can cause	the unexpected
       disappearance of	files which are	still being used.

SEE ALSO
       rm(1), chmod(2),	link(2), mknod(2), open(2), rename(2),	rmdir(2),  mk-
       fifo(3),	remove(3), path_resolution(7), symlink(7)

COLOPHON
       This  page  is  part of release 3.74 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
       description of the project, information about reporting bugs,  and  the
       latest	  version     of     this    page,    can    be	   found    at
       http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

Linux				  2014-08-19			     UNLINK(2)

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | RETURN VALUE | ERRORS | VERSIONS | CONFORMING TO | NOTES | BUGS | SEE ALSO | COLOPHON

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