UNLINKAT(2) Linux Programmer's Manual UNLINKAT(2)
unlinkat - remove a directory entry relative to a directory file descriptor
#include <fcntl.h> /* Definition of AT_* constants */
int unlinkat(int dirfd, const char *pathname, int flags);
Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):
Since glibc 2.10:
_XOPEN_SOURCE >= 700 || _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L
Before glibc 2.10:
The unlinkat() system call operates in exactly the same way as either unlink(2) or
rmdir(2) (depending on whether or not flags includes the AT_REMOVEDIR flag) except for the
differences described in this manual page.
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(2) and rmdir(2) for a rela-
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(2) 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 together flag values
that control the operation of unlinkat(). Currently only one such flag is defined:
By default, unlinkat() performs the equivalent of unlink(2) on pathname. If the
AT_REMOVEDIR flag is specified, then performs the equivalent of rmdir(2) on path-
On success, unlinkat() returns 0. On error, -1 is returned and errno is set to indicate
The same errors that occur for unlink(2) 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.
pathname is relative and dirfd is a file descriptor referring to a file other than
unlinkat() was added to Linux in kernel 2.6.16; library support was added to glibc in ver-
POSIX.1-2008. A similar system call exists on Solaris.
See openat(2) for an explanation of the need for unlinkat().
openat(2), rmdir(2), unlink(2), path_resolution(7)
This page is part of release 3.53 of the Linux man-pages project. A description of the
project, and information about reporting bugs, can be found at
Linux 2012-05-04 UNLINKAT(2)