I started using dotfiles to sync everything I need to github. But I got some problem when symblink config files from dotfiles/ to ~/


$ rm ~/.config/termite/config
$ ln -s ~/dotfiles/termite/config - > ~/.config/termite/config

$ ll ~/dotfiles/termite
total 4.0K -rw-r--r-- 1 hieuc users 1.9K Nov 18 15:19 config

It won't let me edit, and it cannot be read by termite

~/.config/termite/config [Permission Denied]

Does anyone know how to fix it?

  • Are you trying to execute ~/dotfiles/termite/config using the symlink? – Nasir Riley Nov 18 '18 at 21:43
  • Yep, because I want to organize all of the config file in dotfiles/ and keep it update easier. – HieuC Nov 18 '18 at 21:48
  • Is the file itself executable? All the output of ll ~/dotfiles/termite/config to your question. – Nasir Riley Nov 18 '18 at 21:50
  • Note: the command ln -s ~/dotfiles/termite/config - > ~/.config/termite/config does something different than what you expected. – Ipor Sircer Nov 18 '18 at 21:53
  • I didn't notice earlier but in addition to what Ipor said, if you just want a symlink, the correct command is ln -s ~/dotfiles/termite/config ~/.config/termite/config. – Nasir Riley Nov 18 '18 at 21:58

The file is readable by everyone as is denoted by the r bit for user, group, and others.

Your file is not executable as is denoted by the lack of x for everyone. That is what is giving you the [Permission Denied] error.

Make the file executable with this:

chmod +x ~/.config/termite/config

That will add execute permissions and the output off ll ~/.config/termite/config will look like this:

-rw-r-xr-x 1 hieuc users 1.9K Nov 18 15:19 config

You will then be able to execute the file with no issues either with this command:


Or by cd'ing into the directory that contains the file and then executing it:

cd ~/.config/termite/config

  • Thank for your helping but I think I know what is my problem. Because when I symblink I am already in ~/dotfiles/termite/ and use ln -s config ~/.config/termite/config and when I try to edit or read it'll come up with error Too many levels of symbolic links. After that I tried to symblink full path like this $pwd (~/dotfiles/termite/) $ ln -s ~/dotfiles/termite/config ~/.config/termite/config And it is editable right now. Again, thank for your time to helping me. – HieuC Nov 18 '18 at 22:36

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