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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   permission.    (See   also
              path_resolution(2).)

       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
              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  current  process
              doesn’t have.  (This is the POSIX prescribed error return.)

       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,  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

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