REVOKE(2) BSD Programmer's Manual REVOKE(2)
revoke - revoke file access
The revoke function invalidates all current open file descriptors in the
system for the file named by path. Subsequent operations on any such de-
scriptors fail, with the exceptions that a read() from a character device
file which has been revoked returns a count of zero (end of file), and a
close() call will succeed. If the file is a special file for a device
which is open, the device close function is called as if all open refer-
ences to the file had been closed.
Access to a file may be revoked only by its owner or the super user. The
revoke function is currently supported only for block and character spe-
cial device files. It is normally used to prepare a terminal device for
a new login session, preventing any access by a previous user of the ter-
A 0 value indicated that the call succeeded. A -1 return value indicates
an error occurred and errno is set to indicated the reason.
Access to the named file is revoked unless one of the following:
[ENOTDIR] A component of the path prefix is not a directory.
A component of a pathname exceeded 255 characters, or an
entire path name exceeded 1024 characters.
[ENOENT] The named file or a component of the path name does not ex-
[EACCES] Search permission is denied for a component of the path
[ELOOP] Too many symbolic links were encountered in translating the
[EFAULT] Path points outside the process's allocated address space.
[EINVAL] The named file is neither a character special or block spe-
[EPERM] The caller is neither the owner of the file nor the super
The revoke function was introduced in 4.3BSD-Reno.
4.4BSD June 4, 1993 1