Find Broken Symbolic Links


Find broken symbolic links, (also called symlink or soft link), is a term for any file that contains a reference to another file or directory and if they are broken, they should be removed.

Symbolic links are supported by the POSIX operating system standard, most Unix-like operating systems such as FreeBSD, Linux and macOS.

These symbolic links are used for creating shortcuts to other files in Linux, in example: Firefox and they are heavily used in linking libraries in Linux.

If an original file is deleted, the link becomes a so-called dangling link and best removed.

Find broken symbolic links.

Finding broken symlinks in Linux is done, by typing the following command:

find . -xtype l

Press Enter.

If any, they will be listed.

Alternative: 2

Use symlinks command, which requires you install symlinks from Debians repository.

How to install via a terminal window:

sudo apt install symlinks

Press Enter, 

Symbolic links are different from hard links.

Hard links do not link paths on different volumes or file systems, whereas symbolic links may point to any file or directory irrespective of the volumes on which the link and target reside.

Hard links always refer to an existing file, whereas symbolic links may contain an arbitrary path that does not point to anything.

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