remove(3) -- Linux man page
NAMEremove - delete a name and possibly the file it refers to
DESCRIPTIONremove deletes a name from the filesystem. It calls unlink for files, and rmdir for directories.
If the removed name was the last link to a file and no processes have the file open the file is deleted and the space it was using is made available for reuse.
If the name was the last link to a file but any processes still have the file open the file will remain in existence until the last file descriptor referring to it is closed.
If the name referred to a symbolic link the link is removed.
RETURN VALUEOn success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set appropriately.
ERRORSThe errors that occur are those for unlink(2) and rmdir(2).
CONFORMING TOANSI C, SVID, AT&T, POSIX, X/OPEN, BSD 4.3
BUGSInfelicities in the protocol underlying NFS can cause the unexpected disappearance of files which are still being used.
NOTEUnder libc4 and libc5, remove was an alias for unlink (and hence would not remove directories).
SEE ALSOunlink(2), rename(2), open(2), rmdir(2), mknod(2), mkfifo(3), link(2), rm(1), unlink(8)