rmdir(2)rmdir(2)NAMErmdir - Remove a directory file
const char *path );
Interfaces documented on this reference page conform to industry stan‐
dards as follows:
rmdir(): XSH4.0, XSH4.2, XSH5.0
Refer to the standards(5) reference page for more information about
industry standards and associated tags.
Specifies the directory pathname. The final component of the path
parameter cannot be a symbolic link.
The rmdir() function removes the directory specified by the path param‐
eter. The directory is removed only if it is an empty directory.
For the rmdir() function to execute successfully, the calling process
must have write access to the parent directory of the path parameter
with respect to all of the system's access control policies.
If the directory's link count becomes 0 (zero) and no process has the
directory open, the space occupied by the directory is freed and the
directory is no longer accessible. If one or more processes have the
directory open when the last link is removed, the . (dot) and .. (dot-
dot) entries, if present, are removed before the rmdir() function
returns, and no new entries may be created in the directory. However,
the directory is not removed until all references to the directory have
Upon successful completion, the rmdir() function marks the st_ctime and
st_mtime fields of the parent directory for update.
Upon successful completion, the rmdir() function returns a value of 0
(zero). If the rmdir() function fails, a value of -1 is returned and
errno is set to indicate the error.
If the rmdir() function fails, the directory is not deleted and errno
may be set to one of the following values: Search permission is denied
on a component of the path parameter, or write permission is denied on
the parent directory of the directory to be removed. The process does
not have write access to the parent directory with respect to one of
the system's access control policies. The directory is in use as
either the mount point for a file system or the current directory of
the process that issued the rmdir() function. The directory named by
the path parameter is not empty. The path parameter is an invalid
address. While reading from or writing to the file system, an I/O
error occurred. Too many links were encountered in translating path.
The length of the path parameter exceeds PATH_MAX, or a pathname compo‐
nent is longer than NAME_MAX. The directory named by the path parame‐
ter does not exist or is an empty string. A component of the path
parameter is not a directory. The S_ISVTX option is set on the parent
directory of the directory to be removed, and the caller is not the
file owner. The directory named by the path parameter resides on a
read-only file system.
[Tru64 UNIX] For NFS file access, if the rmdir() function fails, errno
may also be set to one of the following values: The file position
pointer associated with the filedes parameter was negative. Indicates
either that the system file table is full, or that there are too many
files currently open in the system. Indicates a stale NFS file handle.
An opened file was deleted by the server or another client; a client
cannot open a file because the server has unmounted or unexported the
remote directory; or the directory that contains an opened file was
either unmounted or unexported by the server.
Functions: chmod(2), mkdir(2), mknod(2), rename(2), umask(2),
unlink(2), mkfifo(3), remove(3)