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#1 2019-10-28 01:24:21

PopeRigby
Member
Registered: 2019-10-19
Posts: 23

Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

When following the System Maintenance page, it instructed me to check for broken symbolic links by running

find / -xtype l -print

(I ran this with sudo because I got some permission errors without it)
It outputted quite a few broken symlinks. Here's the output. After the output was redirected into a .txt file, I also got these errors:

find: ‘/proc/27743/task/27743/fd/6’: No such file or directory
find: ‘/proc/27743/task/27743/fdinfo/6’: No such file or directory
find: ‘/proc/27743/fd/5’: No such file or directory
find: ‘/proc/27743/fdinfo/5’: No such file or directory
find: ‘/run/user/1000/gvfs’: Permission denied

Should I be worried about this?

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#2 2019-10-28 02:53:38

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 22,272
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Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

Don't mind anything under /proc and /run, the ones in your home directory should likely be removed.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#3 2019-10-28 04:42:12

PopeRigby
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Registered: 2019-10-19
Posts: 23

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

Trilby wrote:

Don't mind anything under /proc and /run

Is that safe to have all those broken symlinks? I feel like I should do something with them.

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#4 2019-10-28 05:40:22

fukawi2
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From: .vic.au
Registered: 2007-09-28
Posts: 5,757
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Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

EDIT: nevermind, misread the OP.

Last edited by fukawi2 (2019-10-28 05:40:54)

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#5 2019-10-28 11:26:38

xse
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Registered: 2019-01-08
Posts: 29

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

PopeRigby wrote:

Is that safe to have all those broken symlinks? I feel like I should do something with them.

Have a go at reading the man page for proc, for example it'll tell you that /proc/[PID]/fdinfo contains one entry for each file which the process has open. If that file does not exist anymore, the link is broken, it's totally normal especially in /proc and /run.

Keep in mind that there are many reasons for broken symlinks, on linux everything is a fucking file so you might have an external device that you unplugged. Some are only valid when chrooted and there's more and more good reasons to have broken symlinks.


Carefully explaining your problem is half the solution.

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#6 2019-10-28 14:57:39

PopeRigby
Member
Registered: 2019-10-19
Posts: 23

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

I see. The system maintenance article made it sound like something that was important to deal with.

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#7 2019-10-28 21:01:16

Roken
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From: UK
Registered: 2012-01-16
Posts: 977

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

If I hunt for them, I have a crap load of broken symlinks with no ill effects whatsoever. Mind you, this is a 7 year old installation.


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#8 2019-10-28 21:32:46

bulletmark
Member
From: Brisbane, Australia
Registered: 2013-10-22
Posts: 439

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

Roken wrote:

If I hunt for them, I have a crap load of broken symlinks with no ill effects whatsoever. Mind you, this is a 7 year old installation.

My installation is over 6 years old. Running that find command returns no broken symlinks, other than a small number under /proc which is normal.

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#9 2019-10-28 21:38:27

loqs
Member
Registered: 2014-03-06
Posts: 9,074

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

The following is an attempt to exclude pseudo filesystems.

findmnt --real -ecruno TARGET | xargs -I % find '%' -xdev -xtype l -print

Last edited by loqs (2019-10-28 21:39:19)

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#10 2019-10-28 22:15:25

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 22,272
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Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

The age of the installation is irrelevant for anything under /proc and /run: there couldn't be anything there older than your last boot as those are not on-disk file systems.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#11 2019-11-07 03:49:26

PopeRigby
Member
Registered: 2019-10-19
Posts: 23

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

Are the one's in /var also safe to ignore?

Last edited by PopeRigby (2019-11-07 16:48:17)

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#12 2019-11-07 07:55:48

seth
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Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 12,905

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

What "one's"?

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#13 2019-11-07 10:59:22

xerxes_
Member
Registered: 2018-04-29
Posts: 101

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

I run command

findmnt --real -ecruno TARGET | xargs -I % find '%' -xdev -xtype l -print

and I have multiple broken symlinks related with lxc container, docker and others, for example a few screens with:

/var/lib/lxc/alpine/rootfs/...
/var/lib/docker/overlay2/...

and also this

/usr/bin/cllualatex
/usr/bin/clxelatex
/usr/share/sidplayfp/kernal
/usr/share/sidplayfp/basic
/usr/share/sidplayfp/chargen

Should I be worried?

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#14 2019-11-07 12:43:40

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
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Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

Do you have texlive-bin and/or libsidplayfp?


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#15 2019-11-07 14:47:07

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 12,905

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

And lxc/docker? Looks like some stale copies from container clients.

Should I be worried?

Stop asking this. If you're "worried" about stale links, you're using the wrong distro.
You want to think about what you might have done in the past that caused their existence, but a stale link is not exactly a vital threat. The general answer is "no, unless that's a malware indicator".

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#16 2019-11-07 16:44:15

xerxes_
Member
Registered: 2018-04-29
Posts: 101

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

Trilby wrote:

Do you have texlive-bin and/or libsidplayfp?

Yes and yes to both.

@seth
I remember that I installed lxc and docker. I just didn't know why this commands

find / -xtype l -print
findmnt --real -ecruno TARGET | xargs -I % find '%' -xdev -xtype l -print

outputs all that stuff, but if you say it's OK if I have done it, than it's EOT for me.
Alpine has multiple symlinks, so it is small, and docker probably also has many symlinks...

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#17 2019-11-07 16:47:53

PopeRigby
Member
Registered: 2019-10-19
Posts: 23

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

seth wrote:

What "one's"?

Broken symlinks. All of these.

Last edited by PopeRigby (2019-11-07 16:56:43)

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#18 2019-11-07 20:12:29

seth
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Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 12,905

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

That looks like a remainder from some flatpak installation?

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#19 2019-11-07 22:51:55

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 22,272
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Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

This might be a simpler approach: *Any* broken symlink should be able to be safely removed (but see [1]).  Symlinks under various locations including /proc/ are created and destroyed continuously, so having some broken ones there are expected and there's no point in trying to remove them (by the time you detect them there's even a fair chance another process will have already removed them).  Similarly any broken symlinks under tmpfs filesystem can just be ignored as they'll be 'deleted' on the next reboot anyways.

Should you be "worried" about any broken symlink?  No, no more than you should worry about any other file.  But feel free to clean them up as you see fit.


[1] If any broken symlink belongs to a package, rather than removing it, I suspect it might be worth reporting as a bug in that package as I can't think of a scenario where this should happen.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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#20 2019-11-08 02:27:08

PopeRigby
Member
Registered: 2019-10-19
Posts: 23

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

seth wrote:

That looks like a remainder from some flatpak installation?

That's probably it. I installed Kiwix at one point, but it didn't work, so I uninstalled it. It shouldn't have left so many broken symlinks though, right?

Last edited by PopeRigby (2019-11-08 04:59:42)

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#21 2019-11-08 03:45:20

xse
Member
Registered: 2019-01-08
Posts: 29

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

PopeRigby wrote:

It should have left so many broken symlinks though, right?

It's actually "normal" in this case and has been reported several times.

"Solutions" could include hooks on removing the actual package, see https://jlk.fjfi.cvut.cz/arch/manpages/man/alpm-hooks.5


Carefully explaining your problem is half the solution.

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#22 2019-11-08 05:14:34

PopeRigby
Member
Registered: 2019-10-19
Posts: 23

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

xse wrote:
PopeRigby wrote:

It should have left so many broken symlinks though, right?

It's actually "normal" in this case and has been reported several times.

"Solutions" could include hooks on removing the actual package, see https://jlk.fjfi.cvut.cz/arch/manpages/man/alpm-hooks.5

That's a bit of a pain. So I guess I'll just get rid of those ~ symlinks and try and remove /var ones too.

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#23 2019-11-08 08:14:38

ngoonee
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From: Between Thailand and Singapore
Registered: 2009-03-17
Posts: 7,244

Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

Trilby wrote:

[1] If any broken symlink belongs to a package, rather than removing it, I suspect it might be worth reporting as a bug in that package as I can't think of a scenario where this should happen.

I decided to check, and there are a few, belonging to gulp, node-gyp, and java-runtime-common, on my system. Will raise bug reports.

EDIT: Bug reports for the first two have been raised in May. Still no action taken though. I decided against raising for the latter because after some consideration I guess the problem is just that my chosen runtime doesn't have all the binaries.

Last edited by ngoonee (2019-11-08 08:16:19)


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#24 2019-11-08 13:13:25

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 22,272
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Re: Should I be worried about all these broken symlinks?

Hence the word suspect.  I almost couched it in a bit more softening language.  Perhaps there are rare cases where that'd be expected.


"UNIX is simple and coherent..." - Dennis Ritchie, "GNU's Not UNIX" -  Richard Stallman

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