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

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

SYNOPSIS
       #include <unistd.h>

       int unlink(const char *pathname);

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.

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  permis-
	      sion.  (See also path_resolution(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  cre-
	      ated 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 pathname.

       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 pre-
	      scribed 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.

CONFORMING TO
       SVr4, 4.3BSD, POSIX.1-2001.

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), unlinkat(2), mkfifo(3),
       remove(3), path_resolution(7), symlink(7)

COLOPHON
       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
       http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.

Linux					    2011-09-15					UNLINK(2)
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