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

Posted on in Categories last updated May 4, 2012

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

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

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