When I stat a directory I get a listing that tell me there are 5 links to the directory.

stat dir

My question is how do I get information (names and locations) to all these 5 links?


You just need ls (or find).

When you create a directory, its link count starts at 2:

  • One for the directory itself
  • One for the . link inside itself

The other thing that increases the directory's link count is its subdirectories: they all have a .. entry linking back to their parent, adding one to its link count.

You can't hardlink directories in Linux, so these are the only things that count towards the link count - two plus number of subdirectories.

  • 1
    Interesting, I never put it together in my head that . and .. are just links. I've always thought of them as magic dots. – Banjer Jul 14 '12 at 14:21

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