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RENAME(2)                  Linux Programmer's Manual                 RENAME(2)

       rename - change the name or location of a file

       #include <stdio.h>

       int rename(const char *oldpath, const char *newpath);

       rename() renames a file, moving it between directories if required.  Any other hard
       links to the file (as created using link(2)) are unaffected.  Open file descriptors
       for oldpath are also unaffected.

       If  newpath  already exists it will be atomically replaced (subject to a few condi-
       tions; 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.

       On success, zero is returned.  On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set appropri-

       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  pre-
              fix  of  oldpath  or  newpath,  or oldpath is a directory and does not allow
              write permission (needed to update the ..  entry).  (See  also  path_resolu-

       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  requirement  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.)

       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 subdirectory of itself.

       EISDIR newpath is an existing directory, but oldpath is not a directory.

       ELOOP  Too many symbolic links were encountered in resolving oldpath or newpath.

       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 component in new-
              path does not exist; or, oldpath or newpath is an empty string.

       ENOMEM Insufficient kernel memory was available.

       ENOSPC The device containing the file has no room for the new directory entry.

              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

              newpath is a non-empty 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 pro-
              cess'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  file  system  con-
              taining pathname does not support renaming of the type requested.

       EROFS  The file is on a read-only file system.

       EXDEV  oldpath and newpath are not on the same mounted file system.  (Linux permits
              a file system to be mounted at multiple points, but rename() does  not  work
              across  different  mount  points, even if the same file system is mounted on

       4.3BSD, C89, C99, POSIX.1-2001.

       On NFS file systems, 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

       mv(1), chmod(2), link(2), renameat(2), symlink(2),  unlink(2),  path_resolution(7),

       This page is part of release 3.22 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of
       the project, and information about reporting bugs, can be found at  http://www.ker-

Linux                             2009-03-30                         RENAME(2)

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