RENAME(2) Linux Programmer's Manual RENAME(2)NAME
rename, renameat - change the name or location of a file
int rename(const char *oldpath, const char *newpath);
#include <fcntl.h> /* Definition of AT_* constants */
int renameat(int olddirfd, const char *oldpath,
int newdirfd, const char *newpath);
Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):
Since glibc 2.10:
_XOPEN_SOURCE >= 700 || _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L
Before glibc 2.10:
DESCRIPTIONrename() renames a file, moving it between directories if required.
Any other hard links to the file (as created using link(2)) are unaf‐
fected. Open file descriptors for oldpath are also unaffected.
If newpath already exists, it will be atomically replaced (subject to a
few conditions; see ERRORS below), so that there is no point at which
another process attempting to access newpath will find it missing.
If oldpath and newpath are existing hard links referring to the same
file, then rename() does nothing, and returns a success status.
If newpath exists but the operation fails for some reason, rename()
guarantees to leave an instance of newpath in place.
oldpath can specify a directory. In this case, newpath must either not
exist, or it must specify an empty directory.
However, when overwriting there will probably be a window in which both
oldpath and newpath refer to the file being renamed.
If oldpath refers to a symbolic link, the link is renamed; if newpath
refers to a symbolic link, the link will be overwritten.
The renameat() system call operates in exactly the same way as
rename(), except for the differences described here.
If the pathname given in oldpath is relative, then it is interpreted
relative to the directory referred to by the file descriptor olddirfd
(rather than relative to the current working directory of the calling
process, as is done by rename() for a relative pathname).
If oldpath is relative and olddirfd is the special value AT_FDCWD, then
oldpath is interpreted relative to the current working directory of the
calling process (like rename()).
If oldpath is absolute, then olddirfd is ignored.
The interpretation of newpath is as for oldpath, except that a relative
pathname is interpreted relative to the directory referred to by the
file descriptor newdirfd.
See openat(2) for an explanation of the need for renameat().
On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is
EACCES Write permission is denied for the directory containing oldpath
or newpath, or, search permission is denied for one of the
directories in the path prefix of oldpath or newpath, or oldpath
is a directory and does not allow write permission (needed to
update the .. entry). (See also path_resolution(7).)
EBUSY The rename fails because oldpath or newpath is a directory that
is in use by some process (perhaps as current working directory,
or as root directory, or because it was open for reading) or is
in use by the system (for example as mount point), while the
system considers this an error. (Note that there is no require‐
ment to return EBUSY in such cases—there is nothing wrong with
doing the rename anyway—but it is allowed to return EBUSY if the
system cannot otherwise handle such situations.)
EDQUOT The user's quota of disk blocks on the filesystem has been
EFAULT oldpath or newpath points outside your accessible address space.
EINVAL The new pathname contained a path prefix of the old, or, more
generally, an attempt was made to make a directory a subdirec‐
tory of itself.
EISDIR newpath is an existing directory, but oldpath is not a direc‐
ELOOP Too many symbolic links were encountered in resolving oldpath or
EMLINK oldpath already has the maximum number of links to it, or it was
a directory and the directory containing newpath has the maximum
number of links.
oldpath or newpath was too long.
ENOENT The link named by oldpath does not exist; or, a directory compo‐
nent in newpath does not exist; or, oldpath or newpath is an
ENOMEM Insufficient kernel memory was available.
ENOSPC The device containing the file has no room for the new directory
A component used as a directory in oldpath or newpath is not, in
fact, a directory. Or, oldpath is a directory, and newpath
exists but is not a directory.
ENOTEMPTY or EEXIST
newpath is a nonempty directory, that is, contains entries other
than "." and "..".
EPERM or EACCES
The directory containing oldpath has the sticky bit (S_ISVTX)
set and the process's effective user ID is neither the user ID
of the file to be deleted nor that of the directory containing
it, and the process is not privileged (Linux: does not have the
CAP_FOWNER capability); or newpath is an existing file and the
directory containing it has the sticky bit set and the process's
effective user ID is neither the user ID of the file to be
replaced nor that of the directory containing it, and the
process is not privileged (Linux: does not have the CAP_FOWNER
capability); or the filesystem containing pathname does not sup‐
port renaming of the type requested.
EROFS The file is on a read-only filesystem.
EXDEV oldpath and newpath are not on the same mounted filesystem.
(Linux permits a filesystem to be mounted at multiple points,
but rename() does not work across different mount points, even
if the same filesystem is mounted on both.)
The following additional errors can occur for renameat():
EBADF olddirfd or newdirfd is not a valid file descriptor.
oldpath is relative and olddirfd is a file descriptor referring
to a file other than a directory; or similar for newpath and
VERSIONSrenameat() was added to Linux in kernel 2.6.16; library support was
added to glibc in version 2.4.
CONFORMING TOrename(): 4.3BSD, C89, C99, POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008.
On NFS filesystems, you can not assume that if the operation failed,
the file was not renamed. If the server does the rename operation and
then crashes, the retransmitted RPC which will be processed when the
server is up again causes a failure. The application is expected to
deal with this. See link(2) for a similar problem.
SEE ALSOmv(1), chmod(2), link(2), symlink(2), unlink(2), path_resolution(7),
This page is part of release 3.65 of the Linux man-pages project. A
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Linux 2014-02-21 RENAME(2)