Can Symbolic Links span different file systems in Unix or Linux ??? I.e consider different file systems like ext2 and ext3 can symbolic link span them?

  • 4
    A symbolic link just stores a path. It can store any string that's made of valid path characters; whether or not your filesystems understand the result is a different matter.
    – HalosGhost
    Mar 29, 2015 at 0:51

3 Answers 3


Sure can, unless target/source filesystem do support soft links.


I think you're confusing mount points and filesystem semantics.

The answer is yes though.

Symbolism has nothing to do with file systems or mount points.

See http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbolic_link


Since a symbolic link is just a particular type of file containing a pathname, nothing prevents a symbolic link from pointing to something located on another filesystem. Nothing stops a symbolic link from pointing to something that does not exist at all.

$ ln -s 'hello world' link
$ ls -l
total 0
lrwxr-xr-x  1 myself  wheel  11 Feb 20 08:08 link -> hello world

The filesystem type (ext3 etc.) is largely irrelevant. A filesystem that does not support symbolic links can not hold symbolic links but could still be the target of symbolic links.

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