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C Program For Deleting A Given Node In Linked List Under Given Constraints

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  • Last Updated : 20 Dec, 2021

Given a Singly Linked List, write a function to delete a given node. Your function must follow the following constraints: 

  1. It must accept a pointer to the start node as the first parameter and node to be deleted as the second parameter i.e., a pointer to the head node is not global.
  2. It should not return a pointer to the head node.
  3. It should not accept pointer to pointer to the head node.

You may assume that the Linked List never becomes empty.
Let the function name be deleteNode(). In a straightforward implementation, the function needs to modify the head pointer when the node to be deleted is the first node. As discussed in previous post, when a function modifies the head pointer, the function must use one of the given approaches, we can’t use any of those approaches here. 
We explicitly handle the case when the node to be deleted is the first node, we copy the data of the next node to head and delete the next node. The cases when a deleted node is not the head node can be handled normally by finding the previous node and changing next of the previous node. The following are the implementation.


#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
// Structure of a linked list 
// node
struct Node
    int data;
    struct Node *next;
void deleteNode(struct Node *head, 
                struct Node *n)
    // When node to be deleted is 
    // head node
    if(head == n)
        if(head->next == NULL)
            printf("There is only one node. "
                   "The list can't be made empty ");
        // Copy the data of next node to head
        head->data = head->next->data;
        // store address of next node
        n = head->next;
        // Remove the link of next node
        head->next = head->next->next;
        // free memory
    // When not first node, follow the 
    // normal deletion process
    // Find the previous node
    struct Node *prev = head;
    while(prev->next != NULL && 
          prev->next != n)
        prev = prev->next;
    // Check if node really exists in 
    // Linked List
    if(prev->next == NULL)
        "Given node is not present in Linked List");
    // Remove node from Linked List
    prev->next = prev->next->next;
    // Free memory
/* Utility function to insert a 
   node at the beginning */
void push(struct Node **head_ref, 
          int new_data)
    struct Node *new_node =
    (struct Node *)malloc(sizeof(struct Node));
    new_node->data = new_data;
    new_node->next = *head_ref;
    *head_ref = new_node;
/* Utility function to print a 
   linked list */
void printList(struct Node *head)
        printf("%d ",head->data);
// Driver code
int main()
    struct Node *head = NULL;
    /* Create following linked list
       12->15->10->11->5->6->2->3 */
    printf("Given Linked List: ");
    /* Let us delete the node with 
       value 10 */
    Deleting node %d: ", 
    "Modified Linked List: ");
    // Let us delete the first node 
    "Deleting first node ");
    deleteNode(head, head);
    "Modified Linked List: ");
    return 0;


Given Linked List: 12 15 10 11 5 6 2 3

Deleting node 10:
Modified Linked List: 12 15 11 5 6 2 3

Deleting first node
Modified Linked List: 15 11 5 6 2 3

Please refer complete article on Delete a given node in Linked List under given constraints for more details!

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