removexattr man page

removexattr, lremovexattr, fremovexattr — remove an extended attribute


#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/xattr.h>

int removexattr(const char *path, const char *name);
int lremovexattr(const char *path, const char *name);
int fremovexattr(int fd, const char *name);


Extended attributes are name:value pairs associated with inodes (files, directories, symbolic links, etc.). They are extensions to the normal attributes which are associated with all inodes in the system (i.e., the stat(2) data). A complete overview of extended attributes concepts can be found in xattr(7).

removexattr() removes the extended attribute identified by name and associated with the given path in the filesystem.

lremovexattr() is identical to removexattr(), except in the case of a symbolic link, where the extended attribute is removed from the link itself, not the file that it refers to.

fremovexattr() is identical to removexattr(), only the extended attribute is removed from the open file referred to by fd (as returned by open(2)) in place of path.

An extended attribute name is a null-terminated string. The name includes a namespace prefix; there may be several, disjoint namespaces associated with an individual inode.

Return Value

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



The named attribute does not exist. (ENOATTR is defined to be a synonym for ENODATA in <attr/xattr.h>.)


Extended attributes are not supported by the filesystem, or are disabled.

In addition, the errors documented in stat(2) can also occur.


These system calls have been available on Linux since kernel 2.4; glibc support is provided since version 2.3.

Conforming to

These system calls are Linux-specific.

See Also

getfattr(1), setfattr(1), getxattr(2), listxattr(2), open(2), setxattr(2), stat(2), symlink(7), xattr(7)


This page is part of release 4.11 of the Linux man-pages project. A description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the latest version of this page, can be found at

Referenced By

getxattr(2), listxattr(2), setxattr(2), symlink(7), syscalls(2), xattr(7).

The man pages fremovexattr(2) and lremovexattr(2) are aliases of removexattr(2).

2015-05-07 Linux Programmer's Manual