How to delete or replace an already created symbolic link?


I am working on my project using network simulator2. I installed it and everything is fine. I attempted to create a symbolic link between this installation and /usr/bin, so I could invoke the software by running ns from the command-line. Namely, I ran:

sudo ln -s /home/vinaychalluru/ns-allinone-2.34/ns-2.34/ns /usr/bin/ns

which generated the following output:

ln: creating symbolic link '/usr/bin/ns': File exists

How can I delete the already created symlink or can I replace it with any other commands?

sudo rm -r /usr/bin/ns sudo ln -s /home/vinaychalluru/ns-allinone-2.34/ns-2.34/ns /usr/bin/ns

ln has -f switch that 'forces' a symlink to be created whether it exists or not.

sudo ln -sf /home/vinaychalluru/ns-allinone-2.34/ns-2.34/ns /usr/bin/ns

I tried ln -sf while replacing but it didn't work for me, but doing ln -sfn directory link_name as root worked.

To add to all answers above, a symbolic link can be treated as a regular file in...

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Removing a symbolic link is achieved through the command line, and as we’ll show you, there actually two different ways to undo a soft link. This is aimed at users who spend a lot of time at the command line, but for the less familiar, symbolic links are used in Linux, Mac OS X, and Unix to point one location or file to another location or file, much like how an alias works on Mac OS X Finder or a shortcut works in Windows desktop.

Let’s jump right to it and demonstrate how to delete a symlink.

And yes, this works to delete a symlink in Linux, Mac OS X, or any other modern Unix based operating system.

Remove a Symbolic Link with unlink

The best way to remove a symlink is with the appropriately named “unlink” tool. Using unlink to delete a symlink is extremely simple, you just need to point it at the symbolic link to unlink and remove. As always with the command line, be sure your syntax is precise.


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Hello! Hope someone can help me "undo" something! (I am running Windows Vista Home Premium.)

I used "MKLINK" at the command prompt to create a symbolic link to my Windows Calendar file so that I could move it to my Documents folder where I could more easilly include it in my backups. Windows Calendar works fine and pulls up my calendar, but now I get absolutely no reminders popping up. Before I submit that issue, I want to see if removing the symbolic link and moving the calendar file back to its original home will solve the problem.

Do I simply use the command as:
MKLINK link target
where "link" and "target" are both the original calendar file location?

By the way, I used MKLINK because I found it as the answer to someone else's question on how to move their calendar file. If there's a better/different way to do this, let me know!

Thank you in...

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Hey folks,

I've got a new computer (3 months old) on Windows 7.
This morning I created a Symbolic Link using SymLink Creator, trying to link my SSD C: drive to a secondary Hard Drive I use for big programs. My hope was that I could Rosetta Stone without in taking up all the space in my C: drive.
I made the link, it said it was successfully created... and Rosetta Stone still wouldn't install to the hard drive that I tried to make the symlink to.

I've since talked to the Rosetta Stone customer service and have just flat out abandoned the idea of even trying to get Rosetta Stone put on this computer, but now I want to delete this Symbolic Link... and I cannot figure out how to do it.

I downloaded a program called NTFSLinksView to try and locate this symlink I created and delete it, but the program confused the heck out of me. Could some kind soul please help me find find and delete this symlink? I've got concerns that I may have done it wrong, and I...

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Symbolic links or Soft links work like pointers to another file. Note that there is only one copy of the actual file on the hard disk and in this way you can save valuable hard disk space by simply creating a link to it. Deleting a symbolic link is the same as removing a real file or directory.

A symbolic link is a link that refers to the name of a file. Its most important advantage is that it can be used to refer to a file that is anywhere, even on a computer on the other side of the world. The symbolic link will still work. However, the biggest disadvantage is that the symbolic link is naturally dependent on the original file. There are some properties of symbolic links

Links have different inode numbers : every Linux file or directory (from a technical point of view, there’s no real difference between them) has an inode and this inode contains all of the file’s metadata (that is, all the administrative data needed to read a file is stored in its inode)ls -l command...
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You only need issue

bash-2.05b# rm

sh-2.05b$ man symlink
readlink(2), link(2), unlink(2), rename(2), open(2), lstat(2), ln(1)
bash-2.05b$ man ln


And an example from this morning ->


bash-2.05b# ls -alc /usr/lib | less drwxr-xr-x 9 root root 408 Jun 3 22:29 j2sdk1.4.2_01 drwxrwxr-x 9 root root 408 Jun 7 07:06 j2sdk1.4.2_04 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 23 Jun 7 07:21 java -> /usr/lib/j2sdk1.4.2_01/ bash-2.05b# rm java

and to make the new link


bash-2.05b# ln -s /usr/lib/j2sdk1.4.2_04/ /usr/lib/java Last edited by Bruce Hill; 06-07-2004 at .


[root@linux2 html]# ls -l total 8 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 25 Jun 7 10:42 elixir -> /home/elixir/public_html/ drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 May 3 17:43 mrtg...
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A soft link, or more common, a symlink, is link a shortcut to the targeted file or directory. So when is removed the original target stays present. This is the opposite of a hard link which is a reference to the target and so, if the hard link is removed, so is the target.

A symlink can be created like:

ln -s /path/ linkname

from the ln man pages:

ln [OPTION]… [-T] TARGET LINK_NAME (1st form)

-s, –symbolic
make symbolic links instead of hard links

to remove a symlink

rm linkname

What is important here is to note that the command doesn’t have the trailing slash

$ rm linkname/
will output the error:
rm: cannot remove `linkname/': Is a directory

$ rmdir linkname/
will output:
rmdir: linkname/: Not a directory

So it’s a directory or not?? i guess different tools have different ways of looking at this. Isn’t GNU/Linux great?!...

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Symbolic links provides practical solutions file name or path related problems. Symbolic links will create same file or folder with different name and path. In some situations this may cause problem and we have to remove and delete symbolic link.

We can start by listing existing links especially symbolic links with ls command like below. Symbolic links provide some redirect to the source file like symbolic link RealInput.

List Symbolic Links

There are different ways to remove symbolic link. We can just issue rm command to the link file. In this example we will remote link named RealInput .

As we use ln command which is shortcut for link we have also command named unlinkwhich can unlink given links. In this example we can remove RealInput like below. unlink command is an alias for rm command.

Some symbolic links may be created by privileged user like root . If we try to remove this links with regular or less privileged user we will get an error...

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I accidentally reversed the parameters of my ln and called:

ln -s my_link my_dir

where my_dir already existed and my_link did not. I deleted my_dir, but am unable to delete my_link.

If I ls -l my_link's parent directory I get 1 of 2 different responses, either:

l????????? ? ? ? ? ? my_link


lrwxrwxrwx 1 username username 8 Mar 20 16:34 my_link

If I call rm my_link I get:

rm: cannot remove `my_link': Not a directory

And, I'm not sure if it's relevant, but my_link resides on a network mounted drive.

Does anyone know what I've done here, and how to remove the broken link?

Edit: I looked through my bash_history and found the commands I ran. It looks like I didn't actually delete my_dir, it simply ceased to be. And I ran several versions of the wrong ln command.

Here's the unedited list of commands I ran before getting the error deleting:

ln -s test_dir ~/netdrive/test_dir/ ln -s test_dir ~/netdrive/test_dir ln -s...
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A symbolic link, also called a soft link or even sometimes a symlink, is essentially a file that contains a reference to some other file and allows you to access it without entering the full path of the original file. You can link to regular files or directories, and many operating system packages use this to their advantage. For instance, users of Wine on Linux or FreeBSD might have seen a directory called dosdevices that contains symbolic links to simulated MS-DOS drives to aid in running Windows programs.

Eventually, you might need to either remove symbolic links you create yourself or ones left over from a program. You might even receive an error message that reads “Too many levels of symbolic links,” which shows that a link is linked back to itself in a never-ending cycle.

Method 1: Removing Symbolic Link Files

While you shouldn’t go removing links without a good reason, one single command will do it for you with a minimum of playing around. Open a...

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This article will show you how to create and delete symbolic links on a Linux system. A symbolic link is basically a file that points to another file. Note that there is only 1 copy of the actual file on the hard disk, thus saving valuable hard disk space by simply creating a link to it.

Creating a Symbolic Link

To create a symbolic link, use the syntax:
ln -s [directory or file to link] [the path of the new link]

For example, to create the link (or shortcut) /logs/mongrel.log that points to the actual file /usr/local/bin/mongrel/logs/mongrel.log, use the syntax:
ln -s /usr/local/bin/mongrel/logs/mongrel.log /logs/mongrel.log
Now, each time you want to view the mongrel.log file, you do not have to navigate to the original long path, simply go to the /logs folder

Note: You must create the /logs folder prior to creating the symbolic link

Removing/Deleting a Symbolic Link

Deleting a symbolic link is the same as removing a real...

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git just stores the contents of the link (i.e. the path of the file system object that it links to) in a 'blob' just like it would for a normal file. It then stores the name, mode and type (including the fact that it is a symlink) in the tree object that represents its containing directory.

When you checkout a tree containing the link, it restores the object as a symlink regardless of whether the target file system object exists or not.

If you delete the file that the symlink references it doesn't affect the git-controlled symlink in any way. You will have a dangling reference. It is up to the user to either remove or change the link to point to something valid if needed.

BTW. If you are on filesystem like FAT that does not support symbolic links, and your repository uses them, you can set core.symlinks...

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One of the most useful features found in text editing software is the search function. By searching using keywords, you can quickly find information that you are looking for rather than referring to the index at the first page and then read the whole chapter. Another handy feature that most of the time you will find accompanying the search is the replace feature. You can find both search and replace feature even on Notepad, the most basic text editing software included in Windows operating systems.

This search and replace feature is only limited to the text file that is currently opened in Notepad. If you want to automatically replace a word of phrase across multiple text files, there are plenty of third party free software that can do it because it is a very simple operation. For a more sophisticated search and replace that involves multiple lines, it is advisable to use regular expressions to do the job but regex is not easy and something that most people wouldn’t...

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I tried to compile git 2.4.3 on Solaris 10. I used the following configuration:

$ ./configure --without-iconv $ grep -i iconv config.status ac_cs_config="'--without-iconv'" set X /bin/bash './configure' '--without-iconv' $ac_configure_extra_args --no-create --no-recursion OLD_ICONV=UnfortunatelyYes

But when I try to compile it, I get an error that libiconv is missing:

LINK git-credential-store Undefined first referenced symbol in file libintl_gettext libgit.a(lockfile.o) libiconv_close libgit.a(utf8.o) libiconv_open libgit.a(utf8.o) libintl_ngettext libgit.a(date.o) libiconv libgit.a(utf8.o) ld: fatal: symbol referencing errors. No output written to git-credential-store collect2: ld returned 1 exit status gmake: *** [git-credential-store] Error 1

How can I work around...

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In a previous article I covered a little bit about Symlinks and Hardlinks but I never really explained what they are or how to create them. Today I am going to cover how to create both Symlinks and Hardlinks and what the difference is between the two.

What are Symlinks and Hardlinks

Hard Links

In Linux when you perform an listing in a directory the listing is actually is a list of references that map to an inode. When you create a hard link the hard link is yet another reference to the same inode as the original file. A hard link allows a user to create two exact files without having to duplicate the data on disk. However unlike creating a copy, if you modify the hard link you are in turn modifying the original file as well as they both reference the same inode.

Hard links have some limitations however, in most (but not all) Unix/Linux distributions hard links cannot be created for directories. Hard links are also not allowed to cross file systems....

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Q) I have created a new symbolic link to a directory. Now i want to remove it. How can i remove the symbolic link?

Before we actually see how to delete a symbolic link, let see creating the symbolic to a directory. Follow the below steps for creating and deleting symbolic link:

1. Create New Directory

I am creating a new directory, “linkdir”, in /var/tmp. Later I will create a symbolic link to this directory.

> pwd /home/mark >mkdir /var/tmp/linkdir

2. Creating symbolic link

The ln command in unix or linux is used to create a symbolic link.

> pwd /home/mark > ln -s /var/tmp/linkdir linkname >ls -l total 16 -rw-rw-r-- 1 mark mark 0 Aug 29 23:45 doc lrwxrwxrwx 1 mark mark 16 Aug 30 00:43 linkname -> /var/tmp/linkdir -rw-rw-r-- 1 mark mark 14 Aug 29 22:31 sample

You can observe from the output of the ls -l command, that a symbolic link has been created.

3. Deleting a symbolic link

In Unix or linux system everything is a file....

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How do I remove a symlink under Apple Mac OS X using bash command line option?

Symbolic links refer to a symbolic path indicating the abstract location of another file i.e. symbolic links are files that act as pointers to other files. You can use the rm command to remove a symlink. The syntax is as follows:

In this example, I have created the symbolic link using the following command:

ln -s /etc/resolv.conf /tmp/foo ls -l /tmp/foo

Sample outputs:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 vivek vivek 16 May 5 02:04 /tmp/foo -> /etc/resolv.conf

To delete the symlink called /tmp/foo, enter:

rm /tmp/foo ls -l /tmp/foo

The rm command will remove the symlink /tmp/foo, but not the file the link is pointing at /etc/resolv.conf:

unlink command

You can also the unlink command to remove directory entries including symlinks:

unlink /path/to/sym/link unlink...

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Last Updated March 3 2018, Version

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Introduction The NTFS file system implemented in NT4, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows XP64, and Windows7/8/10 supports a facility known as hard links (referred to herein as Hardlinks). Hardlinks provide the ability to keep a single copy of a file yet have it appear in multiple folders (directories). They can be created with the POSIX command ln included in the Windows Resource Kit, the fsutil command utility included in Windows XP or my command line ln.exe utility Thus, using standard Windows facilities Hardlinks can only be created at the command prompt, which can be tedious, especially when Hardlinks to multiple files are required or when one only makes occasional use of...
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