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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 cre-
       ated 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 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

       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

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

       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
              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 contain-
              ing 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 newpath does not exist; or,  old-
              path 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 directory.

              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 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 priv-
              ileged (Linux: does not have the CAP_FOWNER capability); or the file system containing 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 sys-
              tem is mounted on both.)

       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 problem.

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

       This page is part of release 3.22 of the Linux man-pages project.  A description of the project,  and  informa-
       tion about reporting bugs, can be found at

Linux                             2009-03-30                         RENAME(2)