What is symbolic link in Linux with example?

ln command option Description
-L dereference TARGETs that are symbolic links

A symlink (also called a symbolic link) is a type of file in Linux that points to another file or a folder on your computer. Symlinks are similar to shortcuts in Windows. Some people call symlinks “soft links” – a type of link in Linux/UNIX systems – as opposed to “hard links.”

To view the symbolic links in a directory:

  1. Open a terminal and move to that directory.
  2. Type the command: ls -la. This shall long list all the files in the directory even if they are hidden.
  3. The files that start with l are your symbolic link files.


Symbolic links are used all the time to link libraries and make sure files are in consistent places without moving or copying the original. Links are often used to “store” multiple copies of the same file in different places but still reference to one file.

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Replace source_file with the name of the existing file for which you want to create the symbolic link (this file can be any existing file or directory across the file systems). Replace myfile with the name of the symbolic link. The ln command then creates the symbolic link.

This will replace the link with a new one pointing at /a/new/path . The -n option is necessary when linking to a different target folder to avoid creating a sub-folder inside that symbolic link and instead replace the symbolic link completely.

To remove a symbolic link, use either the rm or unlink command followed by the name of the symlink as an argument. When removing a symbolic link that points to a directory do not append a trailing slash to the symlink name.

program directory in a file manager, it will appear to contain the files inside /mnt/partition/. program. In addition to “symbolic links”, also known as “soft links”, you can instead create a “hard link”. A symbolic or soft link points to a path in the file system.

To do this, you would create a symbolic link.

  1. The symbolic link shows up as a link within the directory. …
  2. After it’s been created, you can click on the symbolic link’s file path in the directory to quickly navigate to a new location.
  3. The new symbolic link will appear in the directory where you placed it.
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Hard links and symbolic links are two different methods to refer to a file in the hard drive. … A hard link is essentially a synced carbon copy of a file that refers directly to the inode of a file. Symbolic links on the other hand refer directly to the file which refers to the inode, a shortcut.

Symbolic links do take room, of course, but just the room it takes to store the name and target plus a few bytes for other metadata. The space taken by a symbolic link does not depend on the space taken by the target (after all, the target is not even required to exist).

Symlinks, unlike hard links, can cross filesystems (most of the time). Symlinks can point to directories. Hard links point to a file and enable you to refer to the same file with more than one name. As long as there is at least one link, the data is still available.

OS module in Python provides functions for interacting with the operating system. … This module provides a portable way of using operating system dependent functionality. os. symlink() method in Python is used to create symbolic link. This method creates symbolic link pointing to source named destination.

To create a hard links on a Linux or Unix-like system:

  1. Create hard link between sfile1file and link1file, run: ln sfile1file link1file.
  2. To make symbolic links instead of hard links, use: ln -s source link.
  3. To verify soft or hard links on Linux, run: ls -l source link.
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What is the bare minimum permissions?

Most data files in a user account’s home directory, such as text files, word processor files, and so on, should have 110/6/rw- permissions for that account and 000/0/— for group and world permissions, while most subdirectories within that home directory should have 111/7/rwx for the owner and 000/0/— for the group …

The ln command in Linux creates links between source files and directories.

  1. -s – the command for Symbolic Links.
  2. [target file] – name of the existing file for which you are creating the link.
  3. [Symbolic filename] – name of the symbolic link.


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