create symbolic link in linux

Symbolic hyperlink is usually known as comfortable hyperlink or symlink, which is a particular sort of file that references one other file or listing.

On this information, you’ll discover ways to create a symbolic hyperlink in Linux utilizing ln command to make hyperlinks between recordsdata.

In Linux, now we have 2 kinds of hyperlinks: comfortable hyperlinks and arduous hyperlinks.

Arduous hyperlinks: A tough hyperlink is a duplicate of an authentic file. It offers entry to the info within the goal file. A person can not create a tough hyperlink for a listing, just for a file. Moreover, hard-linked recordsdata have a typical inode quantity. When the unique file is deleted or eliminated, the arduous hyperlink will proceed working and can include the contents of the eliminated file. It is also necessary to notice that arduous hyperlinks don’t span throughout completely different file programs.

Mushy hyperlinks: In contrast to a tough hyperlink, a comfortable hyperlink is merely a pointer to a file identify and doesn’t include the contents of one other file or the goal file being referenced. If the goal file is eliminated or deleted, the comfortable hyperlink ceases to exist. The great aspect of sentimental hyperlinks is that they can be utilized to hyperlink to a file or listing and so they can span throughout completely different file programs.

How one can use ln command

The ln command is used to make hyperlinks between recordsdata. The command, by default, creates a tough hyperlink. To create a comfortable hyperlink merely append the -s choice ( –symbolic).



To keep away from confusion, use absolute path (relative path) of the supply and goal file when making a symbolic hyperlink.

To create a symbolic hyperlink to a file, run the next command:

$ ln -s { OPTIONS } file symlink

When each the file and the symlink are outlined, the ln command creates a hyperlink from the file which is the primary argument to the file outlined within the second argument symlink.

For instance, to create a symbolic hyperlink to a file, use the syntax,

$ ln -s original_file symlink

Word: ln returns no output on success.

Within the command, change the original_file with the prevailing file for which you wish to create the symlink and the symlink with the symbolic hyperlink.

Let’s have an actual instance:

$ ln -s file1.txt sample_link.txt

The above command creates a symlink known as ‘sample_link.txt’ to the prevailing file ‘file1.txt’ within the present listing.

To confirm the creation of the hyperlink, merely use the ls command as proven:

$ ls -l sample_link.txt

Your output ought to resemble what I’ve under:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 winnie winnie 9 Jul 12 23:43 sample_link.txt -> file1.txt

Within the permissions, the l flag signifies that it is a symbolic hyperlink, and the character – > signifies that the symlink factors to the file file1.txt.

Generally symlinks does not work due to the trail points, recommend to make use of full path:

# absolute (full path)
ln -s /path/to/originals/originalfile1.txt backup/copy.txt

# relative
cd backup
ln -s ../originals/originalfile1.txt copy.txt

Making a symbolic hyperlink to a listing is simply as straightforward as creating one to a file. The syntax stays largely the identical. The primary argument takes the listing’s identify while the symbolic hyperlink is specified because the second argument.

The syntax under is an instance of how you’d go about this:

$ ln -s /path/to/listing ~/listing

For instance, to create a symbolic hyperlink from the listing /Downloads/music/ to ~/my_music run the command:

$ ln -s /Downloads/music ~/my_music

Overwriting symbolic hyperlinks by merely invoking the ln command with none further arguments will all the time provide you with an error as proven:

For instance, Should you attempt working the next command once more:

$ ln -s file1.txt sample_link.txt

You’re going to get the error proven:

ln: didn’t create symbolic hyperlink ‘sample_link.txt’: File exists

A workaround to this situation is to introduce an alternative choice -f or –force to overwrite the symlink’s vacation spot path as proven:

$ ln -sf file1.txt sample_link.txt

This time, overwriting the comfortable hyperlink won’t yield any error.

To do away with symbolic hyperlinks Linux or symlinks, you possibly can both use the rm command or the unlink command. And it is fairly straightforward. For unlink command, use the syntax under to take away symlinks:

$ unlink symlink_to_be_removed

Eradicating a comfortable hyperlink utilizing the rm command is simply the identical as if you find yourself deleting or eradicating an everyday file:

$ rm symlink_to_be_removed

It is usually a good suggestion to create a symlink to a file if you wish to obtain any of the next:

  1. Have entry to a file(s) from a number of places with out creating duplicate copies which might essentially take up quite a lot of disk house.
  2. If you wish to retain authentic variations of the file and be certain that the hyperlink factors to the most recent model of the file. This works as a result of the symlink will nonetheless stay lively even after you’ve gotten changed the file with a distinct file bearing the identical file identify.

Linux packages use symbolic hyperlinks, as aliased in order that customers shouldn’t have to know which model of code used.

# which python
# ls -l /usr/bin/python
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 7 Feb 21 13:38 /usr/bin/python -> python2


Symbolic hyperlinks and commonplace shortcuts are related however a couple of variations exist between the 2.

An ordinary shortcut, just like the one you’d discover in Home windows, is just an everyday file that factors to a sure listing, file, or software. This shortcut often seems as an icon that may be created in any location, and when clicked upon it opens the unique file, listing, or software.

A symbolic hyperlink really represents the unique file in a useful sense. It is a direct substitute for an object corresponding to a file. Your Linux system reads the Linux symbolic hyperlink as if it was the goal object. An extraordinary shortcut merely references a file or a listing, and never does nothing else.

That is all about the right way to create a symbolic hyperlink in Linux and for extra info refer ln man. I hope you loved studying and please go away your feedback and solutions.

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