#include <unistd.h>

int rmdir(const char *path);


Partially implemented


IEEE Std 1003.1-2017


The rmdir() function shall remove a directory whose name is given by path. The directory shall be removed only if it is an empty directory.

If the directory is the root directory or the current working directory of any process, it is unspecified whether the function succeeds, or whether it shall fail and set errno to EBUSY.

If path names a symbolic link, then rmdir() shall fail and set errno to ENOTDIR.

If the path argument refers to a path whose final component is either dot or dot-dot, rmdir() shall fail.

If the directory’s link count becomes 0 and no process has the directory open, the space occupied by the directory shall be freed, and the directory shall no longer be accessible. If one or more processes have the directory open when the last link is removed, the dot and dot-dot entries, if present, shall be removed before rmdir() returns and no new entries may be created in the directory, but the directory shall not be removed until all references to the directory are closed.

If the directory is not an empty directory, rmdir() shall fail and set errno to EEXIST or ENOTEMPTY.

Upon successful completion, rmdir() shall mark for update the last data modification and last file status change timestamps of the parent directory.

Return value#

Upon successful completion, the function rmdir() shall return 0. Otherwise, -1 shall be returned, and errno set to indicate the error. If -1 is returned, the named directory shall not be changed.


The rmdir() function shall fail if:

  • EACCES - Search permission is denied on a component of the path prefix, or write permission is denied on the parent directory of the directory to be removed.

  • EBUSY - The directory to be removed is currently in use by the system or some process and the implementation considers this to be an error.

  • EEXIST or ENOTEMPTY - The path argument names a directory that is not an empty directory, or there are hard links to the directory other than dot or a single entry in dot-dot.

  • EINVAL - The path argument contains a last component that is dot.

  • EIO - A physical I/O error has occurred.

  • ELOOP - A loop exists in symbolic links encountered during resolution of the path argument.

  • ENAMETOOLONG - The length of a component of a path name is longer than NAME_MAX.

  • ENOENT - A component of path does not name an existing file, or the path argument names a nonexistent directory or points to an empty string.

  • ENOTDIR - A component of path names an existing file that is neither a directory nor a symbolic link to a directory.

  • EPERM or EACCES - The S_ISVTX flag is set on the directory containing the file referred to by the path argument and the process does not satisfy the criteria specified in XBD Directory Protection.

  • EROFS - The directory entry to be removed resides on a read-only file system.

The rmdir() function may fail if:

  • ELOOP - More than SYMLOOP_MAX symbolic links were encountered during resolution of the path argument.

  • ENAMETOOLONG - The length of a path name exceeds PATH_MAX, or path name resolution of a symbolic link produced an intermediate result with a length that exceeds PATH_MAX.



Known bugs#


See Also#

  1. Standard library functions

  2. Table of Contents