This article explains how to remove or delete symbolic links in Ubuntu Linux.
Symbolic links (or symlinks) are Linux files pointing to another file or directory, allowing users to access files and directories from multiple locations.
Symbolic links can be created using the
ln -s command, and are useful for linking libraries, versioning files, and managing configurations. However, there may be situations where you need to remove these links without affecting the original files.
You may need to remove symbolic links in Linux for several reasons. One common reason is to clean up your file system and remove unnecessary or broken links. Additionally, if you have created a symbolic link that is no longer needed, removing it can help reduce clutter and improve system performance.
Another reason for removing symbolic links is to avoid confusion and ensure you access the correct files and directories.
Lastly, when moving files or directories, you may need to remove symbolic links that no longer point to the correct location.
Open the terminal
The terminal is the gateway to performing command-line tasks on Ubuntu Linux. To open the terminal:
- Press Ctrl + Alt + T on your keyboard. This keyboard shortcut launches the terminal window.
Change to the symbolic link directory
Before you can remove a symbolic link, you need to locate it. You must also have write permissions on the directory containing the symlink.
cd command to navigate to the directory containing the symbolic link.
~/Downloads with the actual path to the directory containing your symbolic link.
Identify the symbolic link
To see the symbolic link in the list of files and directories, use the
ls -l command, which provides a detailed list, including the symbolic links and their targets.
Look for entries that start with
lrwx, indicating they are symbolic links.
ls -l /usr/bin/python
The output will also show where the link points to.
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 12 Apr 16 2023 /usr/bin/python -> python2.7
Remove the symbolic link
rm command followed by the name of the symbolic link to remove it. Do not include any slashes or directory names unless the symlink was created with such a path.
symlink_name with the actual name of your symbolic link. This command removes the symlink itself, not the target file or directory.
To get prompted before removing the symlink, use the
rm -i symlink_name
Remove symbolic links with unlink
You can also remove symbolic links using the
unlink command. The
unlink command deletes a given file.
rm command, the
unlink command accepts only a single argument.
To delete a symbolic link, run the
unlink command followed by the symlink name as an argument:
That should do it!
This post showed you how to remove a symbolic link in Ubuntu Linux. Please use the comments form below if you find errors or have something to add.