This is dirs_links/view_symlink.c (Listing 18-4, page 369), an example from the book, The Linux Programming Interface.

The source code file is copyright 2022, Michael Kerrisk, and is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 3.

This page shows the "distribution" or "book" version of the file (why are there two versions?), or the differences between the two versions. You can switch between the views using the tabs below.

In the listing below, the names of Linux system calls and C library functions are hyperlinked to manual pages from the Linux man-pages project, and the names of functions implemented in the book are hyperlinked to the implementations of those functions.


Download dirs_links/view_symlink.c

  Cover of The Linux Programming Interface

Function list (Bold in this list means a function is not static)

/* view_symlink.c

   Demonstrate the use of readlink() and realpath() to read and display
   the contents of a symbolic link.
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <limits.h>             /* For definition of PATH_MAX */
#include "tlpi_hdr.h"

main(int argc, char *argv[])
    struct stat statbuf;
    char buf[BUF_SIZE];
    ssize_t numBytes;

    if (argc != 2 || strcmp(argv[1], "--help") == 0)
        usageErr("%s pathname\n", argv[0]);

    /* User lstat() to check whether the supplied pathname is
       a symbolic link. Alternatively, we could have checked to
       whether readlink() failed with EINVAL. */

    if (lstat(argv[1], &statbuf) == -1)

    if (!S_ISLNK(statbuf.st_mode))
        fatal("%s is not a symbolic link", argv[1]);

    numBytes = readlink(argv[1], buf, BUF_SIZE - 1);
    if (numBytes == -1)
    buf[numBytes] = '\0';                       /* Add terminating null byte */
    printf("readlink: %s --> %s\n", argv[1], buf);

    if (realpath(argv[1], buf) == NULL)
    printf("realpath: %s --> %s\n", argv[1], buf);



Download dirs_links/view_symlink.c

Note that, in most cases, the programs rendered in these web pages are not free standing: you'll typically also need a few other source files (mostly in the lib/ subdirectory) as well. Generally, it's easier to just download the entire source tarball and build the programs with make(1). By hovering your mouse over the various hyperlinked include files and function calls above, you can see which other source files this file depends on.

Valid XHTML 1.1