Manual browser: revoke(2)

REVOKE(2) System Calls Manual REVOKE(2)


revokerevoke file access


Standard C Library (libc, -lc)


#include <unistd.h>

revoke(const char *path);


The revoke() function invalidates all current open file descriptors in the system for the file named by path. Subsequent operations on any such descriptors fail, with the exceptions that a read(2) from a character device file which has been revoked returns a count of zero (end of file), and a close(2) call will succeed. If the file is a special file for a device which is open, the device close function is called as if all open references to the file had been closed.

Access to a file may be revoked only by its owner or the super user.

The revoke() function is normally used to prepare a terminal device for a new login session, preventing any access by a previous user of the terminal.


A 0 value indicates that the call succeeded. A -1 return value indicates an error occurred and errno is set to indicate the reason.


Access to the named file is revoked unless one of the following:
Search permission is denied for a component of the path prefix.
path points outside the process's allocated address space.
Too many symbolic links were encountered in translating the pathname.
A component of a pathname exceeded 255 characters, or an entire path name exceeded 1024 characters.
The named file or a component of the path name does not exist.
A component of the path prefix is not a directory.
The caller is neither the owner of the file nor the super user.


The revoke() function was introduced in 4.3BSD-Reno.
July 3, 2011 NetBSD 7.0