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Re: How to test if a link exists

From: Dave Gibson
Subject: Re: How to test if a link exists
Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2013 15:18:16 +0100
User-agent: tin/2.1.2-20121224 ("Langholm") (UNIX) (Linux/3.0.0-1 (i686))

Mark Young <address@hidden> wrote:
> Hi,
> I stumbled into discovering that the -e test for a file does not
> report the file as existing if the file is a dead symbolic link.

It's documented in the bash manpage under "CONDITIONAL EXPRESSIONS".

   Unless otherwise specified, primaries that operate on files follow sym-
   bolic links and operate on the target of the link, rather than the link

> What test should I use to decide if a file exists (including dead
> symbolic links)?

-h and -L apply to the symlink rather than the target, so

  test -e broken_link -o -h broken_link

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