RMDIR(2) BSD System Calls Manual RMDIR(2)
rmdir -- remove a directory file
rmdir(const char *path);
rmdir() removes a directory file whose name is given by path. The direc-
tory must not have any entries other than '.' and '..'.
There is no rmdirat() function; to remove a directory with a path rela-
tive to the directory associated with a file descriptor use the
unlinkat(2) function with the AT_REMOVEDIR flag.
Upon successful completion, the value 0 is returned; otherwise the
value -1 is returned and the global variable errno is set to indicate the
The named file is removed unless:
[ENOTDIR] A component of the path is not a directory.
[ENAMETOOLONG] A component of a pathname exceeded NAME_MAX charac-
ters, or an entire pathname (including the terminating
NUL) exceeded PATH_MAX bytes.
[ENOENT] The named directory does not exist.
[ELOOP] Too many symbolic links were encountered in translat-
ing the pathname.
[ENOTEMPTY] The named directory contains files other than '.' and
'..' in it.
[EACCES] Search permission is denied for a component of the
[EACCES] Write permission is denied on the directory containing
the directory to be removed.
[EPERM] The directory containing the directory to be removed
is marked sticky, and neither the containing directory
nor the directory to be removed are owned by the
effective user ID.
[EPERM] The directory to be removed or the directory contain-
ing it has its immutable or append-only flag set (see
[EBUSY] The directory to be removed is the mount point for a
mounted file system or the current directory.
[EIO] An I/O error occurred while deleting the directory
entry or deallocating the inode.
[EROFS] The directory entry to be removed resides on a read-
only file system.
[EFAULT] path points outside the process's allocated address
rmdir(1), chflags(2), mkdir(2), unlink(2)
rmdir() function conforms to IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (``POSIX.1'').
The rmdir() function call appeared in 4.2BSD.
BSD March 27, 2017 BSD