Defined in header <filesystem>
std::filesystem::path read_symlink(const std::filesystem::path& p);

std::filesystem::path read_symlink(const std::filesystem::path& p,

                                   std::error_code& ec);
(since C++17)

If the path p refers to a symbolic link, returns a new path object which refers to the target of that symbolic link.

It is an error if p does not refer to a symbolic link.

The non-throwing overload returns an empty path on errors.


[edit] Parameters

p - path to a symlink
ec - out-parameter for error reporting in the non-throwing overload

[edit] Return value

The target of the symlink (which may not necessarily exist)

[edit] Exceptions

The overload that does not take a std::error_code& parameter throws filesystem_error on underlying OS API errors, constructed with p as the first argument and the OS error code as the error code argument. std::bad_alloc may be thrown if memory allocation fails. The overload taking a std::error_code& parameter sets it to the OS API error code if an OS API call fails, and executes ec.clear() if no errors occur.

[edit] Example

#include <iostream>
#include <filesystem>
namespace fs = std::filesystem;
int main()
    // on a typical Linux system, /lib/ is a symlink
    fs::path p = "/lib/";
    if(exists(p) && is_symlink(p))
        std::cout << p << " -> " << read_symlink(p) << '\n';
        std::cout << p << " does not exist or is not a symlink\n";

Possible output:

"/lib/" -> ""

[edit] See also

checks whether the argument refers to a symbolic link
(function) [edit]
creates a symbolic link
(function) [edit]
copies a symbolic link
(function) [edit]
determines file attributes
determines file attributes, checking the symlink target
(function) [edit]