unlink - remove directory entry
Unlink removes the entry for the file path from its directory. If this entry was the last
link to the file, and no process has the file open, then all resources associated with the
file are reclaimed. If, however, the file was open in any process, the actual resource
reclamation is delayed until it is closed, even though the directory entry has disap-
Upon successful completion, a value of 0 is returned. Otherwise, a value of -1 is
returned and errno is set to indicate the error.
The unlink succeeds unless:
[ENOTDIR] A component of the path prefix is not a directory.
[EINVAL] The pathname contains a character with the high-order bit set.
[ENAMETOOLONG] A component of a pathname exceeded 255 characters, or an entire path name
exceeded 1023 characters.
[ENOENT] The named file does not exist.
[EACCES] Search permission is denied for a component of the path prefix.
[EACCES] Write permission is denied on the directory containing the link to be
[ELOOP] Too many symbolic links were encountered in translating the pathname.
[EPERM] The named file is a directory and the effective user ID of the process is
not the super-user.
[EPERM] The directory containing the file is marked sticky, and neither the con-
taining directory nor the file to be removed are owned by the effective
[EBUSY] The entry to be unlinked is the mount point for a mounted file system.
[EIO] An I/O error occurred while deleting the directory entry or deallocating
[EROFS] The named file resides on a read-only file system.
[EFAULT] Path points outside the process's allocated address space.
SEE ALSOclose(2), link(2), rmdir(2)4th Berkeley Distribution May 22, 1985 UNLINK(2)