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10 Target Maintenance

From time to time you will need to clean up your target tree. Since version 2, Stow provides a new utility chkstow to help with this. It includes three operational modes which performs checks that would generally be too expensive to be performed during normal stow execution.

The syntax of the chkstow command is:

chkstow [options]

The following options are supported:

-t dir

Set the target directory to dir instead of the parent of the stow directory. Defaults to the parent of the stow directory, so it is typical to execute stow from the directory /usr/local/stow.


Checks target directory for bogus symbolic links. That is, links that point to non-existent files.


Checks for files in the target directory that are not symbolic links. The target directory should be managed by stow alone, except for directories that contain a .stow file.


Will display the target package for every symbolic link in the stow target directory.