Apple OS X: Remove a Symbolic Link (Symlink) Command

by on May 4, 2012 · 1 comment· LAST UPDATED May 4, 2012

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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:

 
rm /path/to/symlink
 

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:

 
ls -l /etc/resolv.conf
 

unlink command

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

 
unlink /path/to/sym/link
unlink /tmp/foo
 
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Sarah Northway September 18, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Is there some way to recursively replace symlinks with the actual files they link to?

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