REMOVE(3) Linux Programmer's Manual REMOVE(3)
remove - delete a name and possibly the file it refers to
int remove(const char *pathname);
remove() deletes a name from the file system. It calls unlink(2) for
files, and rmdir(2) 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
On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is
The errors that occur are those for unlink(2) and rmdir(2).
C89, C99, 4.3BSD, POSIX.1-2001.
Under libc4 and libc5, remove() was an alias for unlink(2) (and hence
would not remove directories).
Infelicities in the protocol underlying NFS can cause the unexpected
disappearance of files which are still being used.
rm(1), unlink(1), link(2), mknod(2), open(2), rename(2), rmdir(2),
unlink(2), mkfifo(3), symlink(7)
This page is part of release 3.05 of the Linux man-pages project. A
description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can
be found at http://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/.
GNU 1994-07-13 REMOVE(3)