[linux] Remove a symlink to a directory


use the "unlink" command and make sure not to have the / at the end

$ unlink mySymLink

unlink() deletes a name from the file system. If that name was the last link to a file and no processes have the file open the file is deleted and the space it was using is made available for reuse. If the name was the last link to a file but any processes still have the file open the file will remain in existence until the last file descriptor referring to it is closed.

I think this may be problematic if I'm reading it correctly.

If the name referred to a symbolic link the link is removed.

If the name referred to a socket, fifo or device the name for it is removed but processes which have the object open may continue to use it.



I have a symlink to an important directory. I want to get rid of that symlink, while keeping the directory behind it.

I tried rm and get back rm: cannot remove 'foo'.
I tried rmdir and got back rmdir: failed to remove 'foo': Directory not empty
I then progressed through rm -f, rm -rf and sudo rm -rf

Then I went to find my back-ups.

Is there a way to get rid of the symlink with out throwing away the baby with the bathwater?

If rm cannot remove a symlink, perhaps you need to look at the permissions on the directory that contains the symlink. To remove directory entries, you need write permission on the containing directory.

Assuming it actually is a symlink,

$ rm -d symlink

It should figure it out, but since it can't we enable the latent code that was intended for another case that no longer exists but happens to do the right thing here.

On CentOS, just run rm linkname and it will ask to "remove symbolic link?". Type Y and Enter, the link will be gone and the directory be safe.