chdir(2) System Calls Manual chdir(2)

chdir, fchdir - change working directory

Standard C library (libc, -lc)

#include <unistd.h>
int chdir(const char *path);
int fchdir(int fd);
Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):


    _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 500
        || /* Since glibc 2.12: */ _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L
        || /* glibc up to and including 2.19: */ _BSD_SOURCE

chdir() changes the current working directory of the calling process to the directory specified in path.

fchdir() is identical to chdir(); the only difference is that the directory is given as an open file descriptor.

On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set to indicate the error.

Depending on the filesystem, other errors can be returned. The more general errors for chdir() are listed below:

Search permission is denied for one of the components of path. (See also path_resolution(7).)
path points outside your accessible address space.
An I/O error occurred.
Too many symbolic links were encountered in resolving path.
path is too long.
The directory specified in path does not exist.
Insufficient kernel memory was available.
A component of path is not a directory.

The general errors for fchdir() are listed below:

Search permission was denied on the directory open on fd.
fd is not a valid file descriptor.
fd does not refer to a directory.


POSIX.1-2001, SVr4, 4.4BSD.

The current working directory is the starting point for interpreting relative pathnames (those not starting with '/').

A child process created via fork(2) inherits its parent's current working directory. The current working directory is left unchanged by execve(2).

chroot(2), getcwd(3), path_resolution(7)

2024-05-02 Linux man-pages 6.9.1