A special type of file that references an inexistent or existing file or directory. The contents of a symbolic link consist of an arbitrary string that is the path to the file that the symbolic link points to. When the symlink is encountered during pathname resolution, the string stored by the file ...

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Create symlink - overwrite if one exists

I want to take down data in /path/to/data/folder/month/date/hour/minute/file and symlink it to /path/to/recent/file and do this automatically every time a file is created. Assuming I will not know ...
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2answers
27k views

How do I copy a symbolic link?

I have a symbolic link to a file in one directory. I would like to have that same link in another directory. How do I copy a symbolic link? I tried to cp the symbolic link but this copies the file ...
9
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2answers
5k views

find usage with -L

I have link -> file I do find -L . -name 'link' And get ./link Why is that? man find says: -L : Follow symbolic links. When find examines or prints information about files, ...
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3answers
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Providing /bin and /lib inside a chroot jail

I need to be able to provide the /bin and /lib directories inside a chroot jail so that programs can dynamically link properly. Is there a way to accomplish this without making a copy of the /bin and ...
9
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2answers
3k views

Is a symbolic/soft link similar to a shortcut/alias on a desktop?

It sounds to me like the basic idea of soft/symbolic links compared to shortcuts (on a PC) or aliases (on a Mac) are the same thing. Am I way off? Are they similar?
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151 views

Strategies for maintaining a reference to a file after it was moved or renamed?

I've had a mac at work lately, and was amazed to see that Xcode would still find my latest project after I renamed its folder and moved it someplace else. Now I understand that this is the result of ...
9
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5answers
3k views

How do I get 'realpath' to find my symbolic link?

I am on MacOSX using bash as my shell. I have symbolic link, created like this: ln -s /usr/bin/python python2 I have a package that uses python2 and I want to create a symbol link in my current ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a standard symbolic link to the current users home directory?

The shell can expand ~ to your home directory. $HOME usually has the same deal, but often you want to refer to the current users home directory from a context that may not support such expansion. I ...
8
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1answer
5k views

Symbolic link permissions

I have access to a remote Linux machine where everytime I create a symbolic link, it is created by default with the following permissions: lrwxrwxrwx If I try to change the permissions of the ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

list files by symlink target

How do I get list of files (and then do something with that list) by filtering through the symbolic link target name, and not the symlink name? For example from the following list I'm only interested ...
8
votes
2answers
6k views

Does Windows recognize Linux's symbolic links?

I was just wondering how a Windows system handles symbolic links. My best guess is that it will not recognize them, but I'm not entirely sure. Also, what do Macs do when confronted by one?
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Dynamic Symlinks

I have built my app for different architectures and would like to create a "dynamic symlink" which takes me to the right version based on a variable. If the machine I am currently logged in to, is ...
8
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2answers
150 views

Why is there a mix of symlinks and hardlinks in /bin?

I understand the technical difference between symlinks and hardlinks, this is a question about their use in practice, particularly I'm curious to know why both are used in seemingly similar ...
8
votes
2answers
557 views

Is there a way to make perl -i not clobber symlinks?

A friend of mine points out that if you do: perl -pi.bak -e 's/foo/bar/' somefile when "somefile" is actually a symlink, perl does just what the docs say it will do: It does this by renaming ...
8
votes
2answers
7k views

Copy symlink AND where it points to using rsync

It doesn't need to be done by rsync, but it would be nice not have to write a script to do this, and rsync is very close to what I want. rsync -a (or -l) can preserve symlinks, and -L can dereference ...
7
votes
4answers
572 views

Looking for POSIX utility to test whether filename is a symlink

I know that some shells at least support file test operators that detect when a filename names a symlink. Is there a POSIX utility1 that provides the same functionality? 1 I may not be using the ...
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votes
7answers
8k views

ls content of a directory ignoring symlinks

I have a directory in which I would like to list all the content (files and sub directories) without showing the symbolic links. I am using GNU utilities on Linux. The ls version is 8.13. Example: ...
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votes
4answers
25k views

Change permissions for a symbolic link

I have a symlink with these permissions: lrwxrwxrwx 1 myuser myuser 38 Aug 18 00:36 npm -> ../lib/node_modules/npm/bin/npm-cli.js* The symlink is located in a .tar.gz archive. Now when I ...
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votes
4answers
1k views

Linking /proc/mnt to /proc/mounts

I understand that /proc filesystem reflects the output of various processes. Unfortunately, I have a propietary (romdump) binary that expects the mount table to appear as /proc/mtd, while my Android ...
7
votes
3answers
16k views

Why change the owner of a symbolic link in linux?

In linux it's possible to change the owner or the group owner of a symbolic link (symlink). I was wondering why someone would want to do that, since permissions of a symlink are not used when ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

ln -s with a path relative to pwd

I'm trying to create a bunch of symbolic links, but I can't figure out why this is working ln -s /Users/niels/something/foo ~/bin/foo_link while this cd /Users/niels/something ln -s foo ...
7
votes
1answer
225 views

cd and ls behave differently when inside a softlink to a dir

When we cd into a dir via its softlink, i observe: ls .. will show the content of the parent dir of the linked dir, while cd .. will go under the parent dir of the softlink. Why are they different? ...
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2answers
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How does linux work with symbolic links?

I mean what's going on when some process wants to read a symlink? What's going on when something changes a symlink during a read or even write process? For example: I have 2 huge, similar 100G files ...
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votes
2answers
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How does /dev/fd relate to /proc/self/fd/?

$ ls -l /dev/stdin /dev/fd/0 lrwx------ 1 tim tim 64 2011-08-07 09:53 /dev/fd/0 -> /dev/pts/2 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 15 2011-08-06 08:14 /dev/stdin -> /proc/self/fd/0 $ ls -l /dev/pts/2 ...
7
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3answers
235 views

How can I find out if a relative symlink is internal to a certain subtree or not?

I want to test if a relative symlink points within the subtree of a certain directory. This example would yield false since it points outside the foo directory: /foo>readlink bar ../fie.txt While ...
7
votes
1answer
271 views

Can you change a dynamic link target without recompiling?

I downloaded a program that unfortunately doesn't come as a source distribution. When I go to run it, I get the error error while loading shared libraries: libjpeg.so.62: cannot open shared object ...
7
votes
2answers
725 views

Git do not overwrite symlinked directory on branch checkout

How can I make directory read-only with git? The situation is - in project, I have a symlink to shared framework. I don't want it to be overwritten/changed in any way (not even mtime or atime). How ...
7
votes
1answer
825 views

sshfs breaks symlinks from SFTP server

Does anyone know how to mount a remote SFTP path via SSHFS so that you can work with symlinks? When I do this, all the symlinks I create point to the wrong files (not the ones I linked to.) All the ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Find files that were not installed by the package manager

I'd like to get a list of all files in my Gentoo Linux system that were not installed by the package manager (Portage). This is because I want to keep my system as clean as possible, removing all ...
6
votes
3answers
462 views

How do I get `ls -l` output for a link recursively until reached the original file?

Let me give an example (it's just an example taken from here): $ ls -l /usr/bin/gnome-text-editor lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 35 Mar 16 2015 /usr/bin/gnome-text-editor -> ...
6
votes
5answers
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Getting relative links between two paths

Say I have two paths: <source_path> and <target_path>. I would like my shell (zsh) to automatically find out if there is a way to represent <target_path> from <source_path> as ...
6
votes
4answers
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Command line shortcuts for changing directory [duplicate]

I'm looking for an easy way to navigate to directories spanning multiple hard drives and want to set something equivalent to a shortcut within the terminal. In Windows I would accomplish this with ...
6
votes
4answers
11k views

List symlinks in current directory?

This question talks about finding directories in a current diretory. The solution is basically: ls -d */ That's great but how can I easily list symlinks? Do I have to use something like find . ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

cd to directory of a symbolically linked file

Before I write a script, anyone know an easy way to do the following: $ pwd /foo/bar $ ls -l lrwxr-xr-x 1 username admin 48 Apr 17 2012 foo.sh -> /bar/foo.sh $ cd /bar $ ls foo.sh i.e., in ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

If I rm -rf a symlink will the data the link points to get erased, too?

This is the contents of the /home3 directory on my system: ./ backup/ hearsttr@ lost+found/ randomvi@ sexsmovi@ ../ freemark@ investgr@ nudenude@ romanced@ wallpape@ I want to clean ...
6
votes
1answer
557 views

Why do some symbolic links affect program behavior?

One thing that has been puzzling me for some time is this: % which halt /sbin/halt % file /sbin/halt /sbin/halt: symbolic link to `reboot' However, executing sudo halt does, of course, not reboot ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Is symlink's target relative to the destination's parent directory and if so, why?

I've got the following file structure: build/ client/ –> index.js And when I try to create a symbolic link named "client" inside the build directory that refers to the client directory in the ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

find all symbolic links in a directory tree pointing outside that tree

I frequently move directory trees to other locations or copy their tarballs to other machines, and I would like to have a method to check whether any symlinks in a directory tree A point to locations ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Symbolic links with ls, mv: forcing the functions to utilize “logical” addresses (remembering the original path)

It seems that for many basic functions operating on symbolic links, the physical path is used by default. However, cd works fine. When moving into a symbolic link, cd remembers where I came from so it ...
6
votes
2answers
309 views

How can I list files of which no symlinks exist?

I have a large "myfiles"directory full of miscellanous documents and do not want to modify its structure. I therefore created (several) other directories for each class of documents. For example I ...
6
votes
1answer
325 views

Filetype and dereference when listing directory with LS command

I'm trying to combine arguments to the ls command to list a directory content. What I'm basically trying to achieve is listing the directory dereferencing all links, but showing explicitly that the ...
6
votes
2answers
420 views

Why wouldn't a symlink to a symlink work?

I've run into a weird issue when installing SWI-Prolog using homebrew on my OSX 10.9 box. I'm trying to debug it to figure out whose bug it is (SWI-Prolog's, homebrew's, or OSX's), so I can report it ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do hard links seem to take the same space as the originals?

Thanks to some good Q&A around here and this page, I now understand links. I see hard links refer the same inode by a different name, and copies are different "nodes, with different names. Plus ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Create symbolic links to files using wildcards

I want to create symlinks to multiple files: ln -s dev-*.php 's/dev-(.*\.php)/$1/' Results hoped for: site.php links to dev-site.php file.php links to dev-file.php What's the most ...
5
votes
2answers
473 views

Create symlink tree in existing directories

I carry all of my music around on a 1TB USB drive and have a udev rule to symlink it to $HOME/Music/ when I plug it in to one of my laptops, which it does. The issue I have is that this works fine ...
5
votes
1answer
472 views

How to replace a symbolic link with an equivalent hard link?

Having a (single, no batch filesystem processing needed) symlink, what a command line to use to turn it into a hard link to the same file?
5
votes
1answer
205 views

Is there a command to move a file, and symlink it back to where it was?

I often find myself wanting to move a file, then create a symlink where it was. In doing this by hand I tend to twist my mind. (Esp after doing half a dozen files) Use cases: Moving all my "dot ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Hot to make diff check a symlink link itself?

In Linux one can use the command diff to check for differences of files. I use it to check for differences across two modules, both copied to /tmp. However, both modules have symlinks, which might ...
5
votes
1answer
404 views

How do I cd up and down again with symlinks in bash?

Structure: /base/ +- somedir/ +- symlink/ -> /some_other_dir This command (in addition to my Makefiles) fails: cd /base/symlink ls ../somedir Bash complains that ../somedir does not ...
5
votes
2answers
194 views

Find all symlinks to a directory and change target to another directory

I have a bunch of symlinks in /home to files and sub-directories in /foo. I want to target the new directory, /bar. My approach was to look at all invalid symlinks and verify that they were pointing ...