symlink is great for identifying different characteristics of symbolic links. It will list if a symbolic link is broken (dangling), if it's absolute or relative and if it's pointing to another partition.

If you specify it, it will also remove broken/dangling symbolic links and/or change absolute links to relative ones.


First, we compile it:


curl -O
tar xzf symlinks-1.4.tar.gz
cd symlinks-1.4/
export CFLAGS=-I/usr/include/malloc; make

If you want, you can install it by running make install. In this case, I need it to be part of a script, so I will leave it in this folder for now.

If you run the binary without specifying anything, this is the output:

 /V/M/t/symlink_test 
 😎  𝛌 ~/Downloads/symlinks-1.4/symlinks
symlinks: scan/change symbolic links - v1.3 - by Mark Lord

Usage:  symlinks [-cdorstv] dirlist

Flags:  -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 (displayed in output only when -c not specified)
    -t == show what would be done by -c
    -v == verbose (show all symlinks)

Now, this is how it works:

I created 3 symbolic links:

  • abc is broken. It references something that doesn't exist.
  • ruben is linking to my $HOME directory in another partition.
  • tmp is linked to a folder in this partition.

This is how you can use the utility:

 /V/M/t/symlink_test 
 😎  𝛌 pwd -P
 /V/M/t/symlink_test 
 😎  𝛌 ls -lhA
total 24
lrwxr-xr-x  1 ruben  staff     4B Dec 14 08:27 abc -> /abc
lrwxr-xr-x  1 ruben  staff    13B Dec 14 08:34 ruben -> /Users/ruben/
lrwxr-xr-x  1 ruben  staff    23B Dec 14 08:35 tmp -> /Volumes/MiniDrive/tmp/

And this is the output you get without any parameters:

 /V/M/t/symlink_test 
 😎  𝛌 ~/Downloads/symlinks-1.4/symlinks ./
dangling: /Volumes/MiniDrive/tmp/symlink_test/abc -> /abc
other_fs: /Volumes/MiniDrive/tmp/symlink_test/ruben -> /Users/ruben/
absolute: /Volumes/MiniDrive/tmp/symlink_test/tmp -> /Volumes/MiniDrive/tmp/
 /V/M/t/symlink_test 
 😎  𝛌

You can easily redirect this to a file and grep/sort based on what you need to find.

Symlinks source
Symlinks software map