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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for unlink (redhat section 2)

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 avail-
       able 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 (execute)
	      permission.

       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.

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

       EPERM  The  system  does  not  allow unlinking of directories, or unlinking of directories
	      requires privileges that the current process doesn't have.  (This is the POSIX pre-
	      scribed error return.)

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

       EBUSY (not on Linux)
	      The file pathname cannot be unlinked because it is being	used  by  the  system  or
	      another process and the implementation considers this an error.

       EFAULT pathname points outside your accessible address space.

       ENAMETOOLONG
	      pathname was too long.

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

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

       ENOMEM Insufficient kernel memory was available.

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

       ELOOP  Too many symbolic links were encountered in translating pathname.

       EIO    An I/O error occurred.

CONFORMING TO
       SVr4, SVID, POSIX, X/OPEN, 4.3BSD.  SVr4  documents  additional	error  conditions  EINTR,
       EMULTIHOP, ETXTBSY, ENOLINK.

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

SEE ALSO
       link(2), rename(2), open(2), rmdir(2), mknod(2), mkfifo(3), remove(3), rm(1)

Linux 2.0.30				    1997-08-21					UNLINK(2)


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