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Linux 2.6 - man page for rename (linux section 2)

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

       rename - change the name or location of a file

       #include <stdio.h>

       int rename(const char *oldpath, const char *newpath);

       rename()  renames a file, moving it between directories if required.  Any other hard links
       to the file (as created using link(2)) are unaffected.  Open file descriptors for  oldpath
       are also unaffected.

       If newpath already exists it will be atomically replaced (subject to a few conditions; see
       ERRORS below), so that there is no point at which another  process  attempting  to  access
       newpath will find it missing.

       If  oldpath  and newpath are existing hard links referring to the same file, then rename()
       does nothing, and returns a success status.

       If newpath exists but the operation fails for some reason rename() guarantees to leave  an
       instance of newpath in place.

       oldpath	can specify a directory.  In this case, newpath must either not exist, or it must
       specify an empty directory.

       However, when overwriting there will probably be a window in which both oldpath	and  new-
       path refer to the file being renamed.

       If  oldpath refers to a symbolic link the link is renamed; if newpath refers to a symbolic
       link the link will be overwritten.

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

       EACCES Write permission is denied for the directory containing  oldpath	or  newpath,  or,
	      search  permission  is denied for one of the directories in the path prefix of old-
	      path or newpath, or oldpath is a directory and  does  not  allow	write  permission
	      (needed to update the ..	entry).  (See also path_resolution(7).)

       EBUSY  The  rename  fails because oldpath or newpath is a directory that is in use by some
	      process (perhaps as current working directory, or as root directory, or because  it
	      was  open  for  reading)	or  is in use by the system (for example as mount point),
	      while the system considers this an error.  (Note that there is  no  requirement  to
	      return  EBUSY  in such cases--there is nothing wrong with doing the rename anyway--
	      but it is allowed to return EBUSY if the system cannot otherwise handle such situa-

       EDQUOT The user's quota of disk blocks on the filesystem has been exhausted.

       EFAULT oldpath or newpath points outside your accessible address space.

       EINVAL The new pathname contained a path prefix of the old, or, more generally, an attempt
	      was made to make a directory a subdirectory of itself.

       EISDIR newpath is an existing directory, but oldpath is not a directory.

       ELOOP  Too many symbolic links were encountered in resolving oldpath or newpath.

       EMLINK oldpath already has the maximum number of links to it, or it was	a  directory  and
	      the directory containing newpath has the maximum number of links.

	      oldpath or newpath was too long.

       ENOENT The link named by oldpath does not exist; or, a directory component in newpath does
	      not exist; or, oldpath or newpath is an empty string.

       ENOMEM Insufficient kernel memory was available.

       ENOSPC The device containing the file has no room for the new directory entry.

	      A component used as a directory in oldpath or newpath is not, in fact, a directory.
	      Or, oldpath is a directory, and newpath exists but is not a directory.

	      newpath is a nonempty directory, that is, contains entries other than "." and "..".

       EPERM or EACCES
	      The directory containing oldpath has the sticky bit (S_ISVTX) set and the process's
	      effective user ID is neither the user ID 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); or newpath is an existing file and the  directory  con-
	      taining  it  has	the sticky bit set and the process's effective user ID is neither
	      the user ID of the file to be replaced nor that of the directory containing it, and
	      the  process is not privileged (Linux: does not have the CAP_FOWNER capability); or
	      the filesystem containing pathname does not support renaming of the type requested.

       EROFS  The file is on a read-only filesystem.

       EXDEV  oldpath and newpath are not on the  same	mounted  filesystem.   (Linux  permits	a
	      filesystem to be mounted at multiple points, but rename() does not work across dif-
	      ferent mount points, even if the same filesystem is mounted on both.)

       4.3BSD, C89, C99, POSIX.1-2001.

       On NFS filesystems, you can not assume that if the  operation  failed  the  file  was  not
       renamed.   If the server does the rename operation and then crashes, the retransmitted RPC
       which will be processed when the server is up again causes a failure.  The application  is
       expected to deal with this.  See link(2) for a similar problem.

       mv(1),  chmod(2),  link(2),  renameat(2),  symlink(2), unlink(2), path_resolution(7), sym-

       This page is part of release 3.55 of the Linux man-pages project.  A  description  of  the
       project,     and    information	  about    reporting	bugs,	 can	be    found    at

Linux					    2013-01-27					RENAME(2)

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