How can I find all of the symbolic links on a unix/linux system?

  • Note: don't exploit this to go round replacing the symlinks with copies of the linked files ...
    – pjc50
    Oct 14, 2009 at 13:57

3 Answers 3


Use with some caution. It will take a while.

find / -type l

Unless you know the environment, never run "find /", run e.g. "find / /var /home -xdev". Parse the mount or df output for the list of filesystems. Otherwise NFS mounts could make your find take a VERY long time. In a reasonable environment, days or weeks is very possible.

I've seen more than one reasonable system on which a "find /" could not be expected to complete.

Beware of "-fstype nfs -prune". In addition to requiring an ugly (complicated and error-prone) find command, you'll end up with surprises from things like cifs.

# find / -type l

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