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130
votes
8answers
54k views

Why are hard links to directories not allowed in UNIX/Linux?

I read in text books that Unix/Linux doesn't allow hard links to directories but does allow soft links. Is it because, when we have cycles and if we create hard links, and after some time we delete ...
110
votes
4answers
458k views

Create a symbolic link relative to the current directory

I'm trying to create a symbolic link in my home directory that points to a directory on my external HDD. It works fine when I specify it like this: cd ~ ln -s /run/media/name/exhdd/Data/ Data ...
62
votes
8answers
61k views

Converting relative path to absolute path without symbolic link

Is there a Unix command to get the absolute (and canonicalized) path from a relative path which may contain symbolic links?
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Understanding directory symlinks traversals and the parent directory

Let's say you have directories /dir1 and /dir2/linked, where the latter is a symlink to the former. When you cd to linked and pwd, you get the output /dir2/linked. If you then cd .., you'll be put ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Trailing slashes on symbolic links to directories

I'm trying to emulate the process of path resolution (see man page path_resolution) in unix-like systems. My OS is Linux with GNU coreutils 8.7. In order to clarify the meaning of extra trailing '/' ...
14
votes
1answer
3k views

What exactly is dot dot (..)? Why is its behavior different with symlinks?

I am trying to understand the nature of .. (double dot). It seems to point to different targets depending on how you access it. Example:- /outer/ middle/ inner/ inner ...
15
votes
4answers
19k views

symbolic link to a directory and relative path

I've created symlink with absolute path to the directory (Blink) and have for example following tree: $ ls -l /tmp/A total 0 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 6 Apr 3 12:27 Blink -> /tmp/B -rw-r--r-- 1 root ...
18
votes
4answers
8k views

How does one atomically change a symlink to a directory in busybox?

I am trying to (as close as possibly) atomically change a symlink. I've tried: ln -sf other_dir existing_symlink That just put the new symlink in the directory that existing_symlink pointed to. ln -...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Why can't list file/directory relative to .. from a symbolic link directory (No such file or directory)?

I have a /usr/tomcat6/logs directory linked to /var/log/tomcat6. When I changed directory to /usr/tomcat6/logs and try to ls files using a relative pathname ../conf/Catalina/localhost, a No such file ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

ls -l --group-directories-first (act on symlinks as well)

ls option --group-directories-first causes directories to be listed on the top, which makes the output of ls nice and clean: ls -l --group-directories-first However, it does not act on symlinks, ...
3
votes
1answer
517 views

Test for link with trailing slash?

I created in /tmp/test/ mkdir somedir ln -s somedir/ somelink I want to loop through only directories: for file in */ ; do if [[ -d "$file" && ! -L "$file" ]]; then echo "$file is a ...
3
votes
1answer
211 views

How can you group symlinks with directories in `ls` output but tell the difference?

In ls output, I'd like to group symlinks that point to directories along with the rest of the directories, but still have a way of telling that it's a symlink either with color or an appended symbol. ...
2
votes
1answer
241 views

When is a symlink treated as the thing it links to, and as a symlink?

When is a symlink treated as the thing it links to, and as a symlink? A symlink can links to a file of different types. For example, let mylk be a symlink which links to a dir. The following two ...