rename - change the name or location of a file
int rename(const char *oldpath, const char
() 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.
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.
are existing hard links referring to the
same file, then rename
() does nothing, and returns a success status.
exists but the operation fails for some reason rename
guarantees to leave an instance of newpath
can specify a directory. In this case, newpath
not exist, or it must specify an empty directory.
However, when overwriting there will probably be a window in which both
refer to the file being renamed.
refers to a symbolic link the link is renamed; if
refers to a symbolic link the link will be overwritten.
On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno
- 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
- 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.)
- oldpath or newpath points outside your
accessible address space.
- The new pathname contained a path prefix of the old, or,
more generally, an attempt was made to make a directory a subdirectory of
- newpath is an existing directory, but oldpath
is not a directory.
- Too many symbolic links were encountered in resolving
oldpath or newpath.
- 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.
- The link named by oldpath does not exist; or, a
directory component in newpath does not exist; or, oldpath
or newpath is an empty string.
- Insufficient kernel memory was available.
- The device containing the file has no room for the new
- 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.
- ENOTEMPTY or EEXIST
- newpath is a nonempty 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 privileged
(Linux: does not have the CAP_FOWNER capability); or the file
system containing pathname does not support renaming of the type
- The file is on a read-only file system.
- 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 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)
a similar problem.
This page is part of release 3.44 of the Linux man-pages
description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can be found