1. Technology
Linux / Unix Command: unlink
Command Library

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 (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 prescribed 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.  

SEE ALSO

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


Important: Use the man command (% man) to see how a command is used on your particular computer.

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