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I am following a procedure that indicates creating a symbolic link:

sudo ln -s $(DynamsoftBarcodeReader)/lib/libDynamsoftBarcodeReader.so /usr/lib/libDynamsoftBarcodeReader.so

I am interpreting this to mean that I need to implement:

sudo ln -s /home/pi/Desktop/dbr/lib/libDynamsoftBarcodeReader.so /usr/lib/libDynamsoftBarcodeReader.so

My question / concern is the $ in the procedure: what is its purpose? Attempts to Google were not successful

enter image description here

  • Why a screenshot instead of copying the output? – phk Oct 26 '16 at 11:59
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Assuming that you're meant to type this in a shell, this is a command substitution. The shell executes the command DynamsoftBarcodeReader and replaces $(DynamsoftBarcodeReader) in that command line by the output obtained by running DynamsoftBarcodeReader. For example, if the command DynamsoftBarcodeReader prints /home/pi/Desktop/dbr, then the target of the symlink will be /home/pi/Desktop/dbr/lib/libDynamsoftBarcodeReader.so.

Note to future visitors: in a makefile, the syntax $(…) has a different meaning: it takes the value of a variable. This tutorial doesn't mention makefiles anywhere, so presumably the command is intended to be typed on the command line, in a shell such as bash, and there it's a command substitution.

If the $ was actually in a symbolic link, it would have no special meaning, the symlink would just be pointing to a target that happens to contain the character $. But that's not happening here.

  • Given the context and the posted screenshot, have I correctly created the symbolic link? Thanks for introducing command substitution – gatorback Oct 25 '16 at 23:41
  • @gatorback I don't know. You have created a symlink, and it makes sense, but I don't know that software, so I can't be sure that it's the right link. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Oct 25 '16 at 23:48

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