Unix Create a Symbolic Link

September 8, 2019

How do I create a symbolic links under Linux or Unix like operating systems using command line options?

You need to use the ln command. It is a standard Unix / Linux / BSD command to create links to files. There are two types of links under UNIX, hard and soft link:

Hard link vs. Soft link in Linux or UNIX

[a] Hard links cannot links directories ( cannot link /tmp with /home/you/tmp)

[b] Hard links cannot cross file system boundaries ( cannot link /tmp mounted on/tmp to 2nd hard disk mounted on /harddisk2)

[c] Symbolic links refer to a symbolic path indicating the abstract location of another file

[d] Hard links, refer to the specific location of physical data.

UNIX create a symbolic link command

To create a symbolic link, enter:
$ ln -s {/path/to/file-name} {link-name}
$ ln -s /shared/sales/data/file.txt
$ vi
$ ls -l

How do I delete a symbolic link?

To delete a link, enter:
$ rm {link-name}
$ rm
$ ls -l
$ ls -l /shared/sales/data/file.txt

If you delete the soft link itself ( , the data file would still be there ( /shared/sales/data/file.txt ). However, if you delete /shared/sales/data/file.txt, becomes a broken link and data is lost.

UNIX create a hardlink command

To create hard link, enter (without the -s option):
$ ln {file.txt} {hard-link}
$ ln /tmp/file link-here

How do I delete a hard link?

You can delete hard link with the rm command itself:
$ rm {hard-link}
$ rm link-here

If you delete a hard link, your data would be there. If you delete /tmp/file your data still be accessible via link-here hard link file.

See also:

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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