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remove - delete a name and possibly the file it refers to
#include <stdio.h> int remove(const char *pathname);
remove deletes a name from the filesystem. It calls unlink for files, and rmdir for directories. If the removed 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.
On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set appropriately.
EFAULT pathname points outside your accessible address space. 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 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. ENAMETOOLONG pathname was too long. ENOENT A directory component in pathname does not exist or is a dangling symbolic link. 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.
ANSI C, SVID, AT&T, POSIX, X/OPEN, BSD 4.3
Infelicities in the protocol underlying NFS can cause the unexpected disappearance of files which are still being used.
Under libc4 and libc5, remove was an alias for unlink (and hence would not remove directories).