RMDIR(2) System Calls RMDIR(2)

rmdir - remove a directory

#include <unistd.h>
int rmdir(const char *path);

The rmdir() function removes the directory named by the path name pointed to by path. The directory must not have any entries other than "." and "..".

If the directory's link count becomes 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 "." and ".." entries, if present, are removed before rmdir() returns and no new entries may be created in the directory, but the directory is not removed until all references to the directory have been closed.

Upon successful completion rmdir() marks for update the st_ctime and st_mtime fields of the parent directory.

Upon successful completion, 0 is returned. Otherwise, −1 is returned, errno is set to indicate the error, and the named directory is not changed.

The rmdir() function will fail if:


Search permission is denied for a component of the path prefix and {PRIV_FILE_DAC_SEARCH} is not asserted in the effective set of the calling process

Write permission is denied on the directory containing the directory to be removed and {PRIV_FILE_DAC_WRITE} is not asserted.

The parent directory has the S_ISVTX variable set, is not owned by the user, and {PRIV_FILE_OWNER} is not asserted.

The directory is not owned by the user and is not writable by the user.


The directory to be removed is the mount point for a mounted file system.


The directory contains entries other than those for "." and "..".


The path argument points to an illegal address.


The directory to be removed is the current directory, or the final component of path is ".".


The path argument includes non-UTF8 characters and the file system accepts only file names where all characters are part of the UTF-8 character codeset.


An I/O error occurred while accessing the file system.


Too many symbolic links were encountered in translating path.


The length of the path argument exceeds PATH_MAX, or the length of a path component exceeds NAME_MAX while _POSIX_NO_TRUNC is in effect.


The named directory does not exist or is the null pathname.


The path argument points to a remote machine, and the connection to that machine is no longer active.


A component of the path prefix is not a directory.


The directory entry to be removed is part of a read-only file system.

See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

Interface Stability Standard
MT-Level Async-Signal-Safe

mkdir(1), rm(1), mkdir(2), attributes(7), privileges(7), standards(7)

May 18, 2007 OmniOS