I am curious if there is a way to set a symlink that could follow the below example format:

$> /tmp/../home/usr1/dir/oldFile

Specifically I want to create a file in another folder, say:

$> /home/usr2/newFile

that when I try to access it will resolve to the path above using a symlink rather than the most direct path (i.e. this one):

$> /home/usr1/dir/oldFile
  • I haven't tried what --relative/-r would do in that case, I am afraid it would make the symlink relative but look for the simplest relative path.
    – phk
    Oct 16, 2015 at 7:23
  • Your example is not that clear to me, I could have miss understood you, but I've tested it and it seems to do what you are looking for. Check my answer
    – lese
    Oct 16, 2015 at 8:30

1 Answer 1


I've tried to do what I think you are looking for and it work without problems, for this I'm having doubts if this is what you asking:

I created a symlink (called it "the_symlink) that point to a file on my Desktop following a funny path:

ln -s /tmp/../home/phphil/Desktop/suzuki\ check\ list.ods /home/phphil/the_symlink

the destination path of the link is effectively the one setted. It's not modified by the system

ls -la /home/phphil/symlink
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 49 Oct 16 10:27 /home/phphil/symlink -> /tmp/../home/phphil/Desktop/suzuki check list.ods

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