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



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

SYNOPSIS
       #include 

       int unlink(const char *pathname);

DESCRIPTION
       unlink()	 deletes  a  name  from the file system.  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 permission.	 (See also  path_reso-
	      lution(7).)

       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.

       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	 path-
	      name.

       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 prescribed error return; as
	      noted above, Linux returns EISDIR for this case.)

       EPERM (Linux only)
	      The file system 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 file system.

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 3.22 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				  2004-06-23			     UNLINK(2)