Change in behavior to stat(1)

jhell jhell at
Mon Feb 28 22:39:27 UTC 2011

On Mon, 28 Feb 2011 12:15, stephen@ wrote:
> I had a little script that would remove broken links.  I used to do it like 
> this:
> if ! stat -L $link > /dev/null; then rm $link; fi
> But recently (some time in February according to the CVS records) stat was 
> changed so that stat -L would use lstat(2) if the link is broken.
> So I had to change it to
> if stat -L $link | awk '{print $3}' | grep l > /dev/null;
> then rm $link; fi
> but it is a lot less elegant.
> What is the proper accepted way to remove broken links?
> Stephen

You might find sysutils/symlinks interesting. I have been using it a long 
time and have not had to consider adjusting much in the way of shell 
scripting to remove dirty links.

  -c == change absolute/messy links to relative
  -d == delete dangling links
  -o == warn about links across file systems
  -r == recurse into subdirs
  -s == shorten lengthy links
  -t == show what would be done by -c
  -v == verbose (show all symlinks)

Quite interesting though how such a little tweak has caused a massive 
expansion of your command line and required utils.

Good luck,



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