There are a few broken symlinks in /etc/systemd/{system,user} like this one:

anacron.timer -> /lib/systemd/system/anacron.timer

but there is no anacron.timer in /lib/systemd/system. Instead there is anacron.timer in /usr/lib/systemd/system (maybe because of some kind of migration, I don't know) and timer and service works correctly.

Is it a good (systemd 247.9) practice to manually remove this broken symlinks from /etc/systemd ? or should it be done by package maintainer ?


2 Answers 2


This sort of problem is supposed to be fixed by the package maintainer. In anacron’s case, the bug is filed as #993348: the previous version of anacron shipped its systemd files in /lib/systemd, the new version moved them to /usr/lib/systemd but didn’t update any symlinks in /etc.

However /etc is owned by the system administrator, not the package manager, so it’s fine for you to clean up the mess too. The links aren’t necessary, you might as well delete them.

  • Thank you. I assume that other broken symlinks in /etc/systemd are in similar situation.
    – EdiD
    Sep 6, 2021 at 13:17
  • Yes, that’s quite likely. If you don’t mind, it would be great if you could check whether corresponding bugs are filed, and report them if necessary! Sep 6, 2021 at 13:23

The package is broken for some reasons, you should have anacron.timer under /usr/lib/systemd/system/, here is the list of files provided by anacron.

The symlinked anacron.timer can be:

ls -al /etc/systemd/system/timers.target.wants/anacron.timer

 /etc/systemd/system/timers.target.wants/anacron.timer -> /lib/systemd/system/anacron.timer

Reinstall anacron:

sudo apt purge anacorn
sudo apt install anacron

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