rename - Renames a directory or a file within a file system
int rename (
const char *from,
const char *to );
[Tru64 UNIX] The following definition of the rename() function does not
conform to current standards and is supported only for backward compatibil-
ity (see standards(5)):
int rename (
char *to );
Interfaces documented on this reference page conform to industry standards
Refer to the standards(5) reference page for more information about indus-
try standards and associated tags.
from Identifies the file or directory to be renamed.
to Identifies the new pathname of the file or directory to be
renamed. If the to parameter is an existing file or empty direc-
tory, it is replaced by the from parameter. If the to parameter
is a nonempty directory, the rename() function exits with an
The rename() function renames a directory or a file within a file system.
For rename() to complete successfully, the calling process must have write
and search permission to the parent directories of both the from and to
parameters. If the from parameter is a directory and the parent directories
of from and to are different, then the calling process must have write and
search permission to the from parameter as well.
If the from and to parameters both refer to the same existing file, the
rename() function returns successfully and performs no other action.
Both the from and to parameters must be of the same type (that is, both
directories or both nondirectories) and must reside on the same file sys-
tem. If the to parameter already exists, it is first removed. In this case
it is guaranteed that a link named the to parameter will exist throughout
the operation. This link refers to the file named by either the to or from
parameter before the operation began.
If the final component of the from parameter is a symbolic link, the sym-
bolic link (not the file or directory to which it points) is renamed. If
the final component of the to parameter is a symbolic link, the symbolic
link is destroyed.
If the from and to parameters name directories, the following must be true:
+ The from parameter is not an ancestor of the to parameter. For exam-
ple, the to pathname must not contain a path prefix that names from.
+ The from parameter is well-formed. For example, the . (dot) entry in
from, if it exists, refers to the same directory as from, exactly one
directory has a link to from (excluding the self-referential . ), and
the .. (dot-dot) entry in from, if it exists, refers to the directory
that contains an entry for from.
+ The to parameter, if it exists, must be well-formed (as defined previ-
Upon successful completion, the rename() function marks the st_ctime and
st_mtime fields of the parent directory of each file for update.
Upon successful completion, the rename() function returns a value of 0
(zero). Otherwise, a value of -1 is returned, and errno is set to indicate
If the rename() function fails, the file or directory name remains
unchanged and errno may be set to one of the following values:
[EACCES] Creating the requested link requires writing in a directory with
a mode that denies write permission, or a component of either
pathname denies search permission.
[EBUSY] The directory named by the from or to parameter is currently in
use by the system or by another process.
[EDQUOT] The directory that would contain to cannot be extended because
the user's quota of disk blocks on the file system containing the
directory is exhausted.
[EEXIST] The to parameter is an existing nonempty directory.
[EFAULT] Either the to or from parameter is an invalid address.
[EINVAL] Either the from or to parameter is not a well-formed directory,
an attempt is made to rename . (dot) or .. (dot-dot), or the from
parameter is an ancestor of the to parameter.
[EIO] [Tru64 UNIX] An I/O error occurred when updating the (underlined)
[EISDIR] The to parameter names a directory and the from parameter names a
[ELOOP] Too many links were encountered in translating either to or from.
The length of the to or from parameters exceeds PATH_MAX or a
pathname component is longer than NAME_MAX.
[ENFILE] Indicates either that the system file table is full, or that
there are too many files currently open in the system.
[ENOENT] A component of either path does not exist, or either path is the
empty string, or the file named by the from parameter does not
[ENOSPC] The directory that would contain to cannot be extended because
the file system is out of space.
[ENOTDIR] The from parameter names a directory and the to parameter names a
[EPERM] The S_ISVTX flag is set on the directory containing the file to
be renamed, and the caller is not the file owner.
[EROFS] The requested operation requires writing in a directory on a
read-only file system.
[EXDEV] The link named by the to parameter and the file named by the from
parameter are on different file systems.
Commands: chmod(1), mkdir(1), mv(1), mvdir(1)
Functions: chmod(2), link(2), mkdir(2), rmdir(2), unlink(2)