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Questions tagged [symlink]

A special type of file that references an inexistent or existing file or directory. The contents of a symbolic link consist of an arbitrary string that is the path to the file that the symbolic link points to. When the symlink is encountered during pathname resolution, the string stored by the file is used to modify the pathname resolution.

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65 votes
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Symbolic link recursion - what makes it "reset"?

I wrote a little bash script to see what happens when I keep following a symbolic link that points to the same directory. I was expecting it to either make a very long working directory, or to crash. ...
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  • 1,417
17 votes
2 answers
6k views

Strange difference between pwd and /bin/pwd

I added a symlink to the current directory with ln -s . aa. If I execute cd aa, and after that I executed pwd, the response is /home/sim/aa. But if I execute /bin/pwd it prints /home/sim (the current ...
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  • 2,975
142 votes
7 answers
73k 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 ...
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  • 3,978
61 votes
10 answers
40k views

What is the difference between symbolic and hard links?

When would you use one over the other?
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  • 28.8k
92 votes
5 answers
148k views

How do you make samba follow symlink outside the shared path

This is Ubuntu server 10.04 64 and samba 3.4.7. I have a shared directory /home/mit/share and another one /home/temp that I link into the shared one: ln -s /home/temp /home/mit/share/temp But on ...
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  • 1,276
3 votes
1 answer
6k views

Symbolic link not working as expected when changes user

Symbolic link not working, using standard UBUNTU 16 LTS... It shows "Permission denied" where I expected to get access, not working even after chown. Full example: sudo rm /tmp/file.txt # if exist, ...
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61 votes
4 answers
49k views

How can I "relink" a lot of broken symlinks?

I have a directory tree which has a bunch of symbolic links to files under /home... however, I have moved /home to /mnt/home and need a way to "relink" all of the symlinks. Does such functionality ...
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  • 7,670
74 votes
7 answers
107k views

Determining if a file is a hard link or symbolic link?

I'm creating a shell script that would take a filename/path to a file and determine if the file is a symbolic link or a hard link. The only thing is, I don't know how to see if they are a hard link. ...
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  • 1,255
76 votes
8 answers
88k 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?
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  • 1,485
72 votes
5 answers
48k views

Get path of current script when executed through a symlink

I have a utility consisting of a couple of directories with some bash scripts and supporting files that will be deployed to several machines, possibly in a different directory on each machine. The ...
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  • 1,303
28 votes
3 answers
15k views

How does the /proc/<pid>/exe symlink differ from ordinary symlinks?

If I start a process and then delete the binary of it, I can still recover it from /proc/<pid>/exe: $ cp `which sleep` . $ ./sleep 10m & [1] 13728 $ rm sleep $ readlink /proc/13728/exe ...
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13 votes
3 answers
7k views

Going into a directory linked by a link

When I cd a link, my current path is prefixed with the link's path, rather than the path of the directory the link links to. E.g. ~/dirlinks/maths$ ls -l logic lrwxrwxrwx 1 tim tim 71 Jul 27 10:24 ...
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6 votes
2 answers
5k views

How do I see what symlinks exist for a given directory?

I want to do some housekeeping in a directory, and I want to see if a given directory has any symlinks pointing to it. I can easily enough see what directory a symlink points to, but now I want to see ...
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  • 13.2k
383 votes
13 answers
226k views

How can I find broken symlinks

Is there a way to find all symbolic links that don't point anywere? find ./ -type l will give me all symbolic links, but makes no distinction between links that go somewhere and links that don't. ...
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  • 11.1k
115 votes
4 answers
484k 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 ...
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  • 3,804
86 votes
3 answers
67k views

What is the difference between 'rm' and 'unlink'?

Assuming you know the target is a symbolic link and not a file, is there any difference between using rm and unlink to remove the link?
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  • 9,503
34 votes
4 answers
9k views

How do I prevent sed -i from destroying symlinks?

Why does sed -i executed on symlink destroys that link and replaces it with destination file? How to avoid this? eg. $ ls -l pet* -rw-rw-r-- 1 madneon madneon 4 mar 23 16:46 pet lrwxrwxrwx 1 madneon ...
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  • 1,264
24 votes
8 answers
43k views

ls content of a directory ignoring symlinks

I have a directory in which I would like to list all the content (files and sub directories) without showing the symbolic links. I am using GNU utilities on Linux. The ls version is 8.13. Example: ...
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6 votes
5 answers
11k views

What is a symbolic link made from? Understanding the structure of symlinks

I use Ubuntu 15.10 and I'm very new in Linux. After reading in Wikipedia what is a symbolic link in general, and after executing a symlink creation command in the Ubuntu Unix-bash terminal, I ought to ...
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92 votes
6 answers
152k views

How can I edit symlinks?

My basic understanding of a symlink is as a special file, a file that contains a string path to another file. The kernel's VFS abstracts a lot of that away but is there any reason why symlinks seem to ...
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  • 14.9k
47 votes
2 answers
23k views

Resolving symbolic links (pwd)

Say I do the following: cd /some/path ln -s /target/path symbolic_name If then do: cd /some/path cd symbolic_name pwd I get: /some/path/symblic_name and not: /target/path Is there a way to ...
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32 votes
1 answer
14k views

Why are reboot, shutdown and poweroff symlinks to systemctl?

In Arch Linux, if I do ls -l in /sbin, I can see that reboot, shutdown and poweroff are all symlinks to /usr/bin/systemctl. But issuing reboot, shutdown and systemctl commands obviously does not all ...
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  • 3,229
67 votes
2 answers
15k views

pwd without symlinks

If I do pwd I notice it uses whatever symlinks I used to get into the current directory. Can I get it to tell me the "real" directory I'm in ... i.e. the path from the root to my current directory ...
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  • 1,205
39 votes
6 answers
21k views

Convert absolute symlink to relative symlink with simple Linux command

I have a complete sub-filesystem inside a path /home/user/system containing the standard Linux structure with directories /bin, /home, /root, /usr, /var, /etc,... This sub-filesystem contain symbolic ...
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  • 5,182
10 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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  • 4,022
10 votes
1 answer
6k views

How do you increase MAXSYMLINKS

In a python script, I am creating a bunch of symbolic links chained together. example: link1->link2->link3->.......->somefile.txt I was wondering how you can change the max number of symlinks to be ...
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  • 135
7 votes
2 answers
9k views

Info on cp --preserve=links

I'm trying to understand what cp --preserve=links does when used by itself, from my tests it seems that it copies a normal file normally and dereferences symlinks, but it seems like it just has the ...
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  • 173
9 votes
2 answers
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 '/' ...
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  • 353
68 votes
6 answers
54k views

Are there any drawbacks from using mount --bind as a substitute for symbolic links?

Symlinks have limitations in how functions like ls, mv, and cp can operate on them because unlike shell initiated commands like cd, these functions do not have information about how the user accessed ...
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  • 835
38 votes
8 answers
9k views

What is the difference between a hard link and a file?

A hard link is defined as a pointer to an inode. A soft link, also known as a symbolic link, is defined as an independent file pointing to another link without the restrictions of hard links. What is ...
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123 votes
2 answers
146k views

Create symlink - overwrite if one exists

I want to take down data in /path/to/data/folder/month/date/hour/minute/file and symlink it to /path/to/recent/file and do this automatically every time a file is created. Assuming I will not know ...
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  • 1,585
60 votes
8 answers
47k views

Find only destination of symlink

For use in a shell-script, I'm looking for a commandline-way to get the destination of a symbolic link. The closest I've come so far is stat -N src, which outputs src -> dst. Of course I could ...
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  • 3,277
56 votes
4 answers
212k views

Change permissions for a symbolic link

I have a symlink with these permissions: lrwxrwxrwx 1 myuser myuser 38 Aug 18 00:36 npm -> ../lib/node_modules/npm/bin/npm-cli.js* The symlink is located in a .tar.gz archive. Now when I ...
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  • 871
19 votes
7 answers
12k views

Is there an algorithm to decide if a symlink loops?

Unix systems usually just error out if they are confronted with a path that contains a symlink loop or just too many symlinks, because they have a limit to the number of symlinks they will traverse in ...
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  • 889
33 votes
6 answers
22k views

Getting relative links between two paths

Say I have two paths: <source_path> and <target_path>. I would like my shell (zsh) to automatically find out if there is a way to represent <target_path> from <source_path> as ...
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10 votes
5 answers
6k views

Dynamic Symlinks

I have built my app for different architectures and would like to create a "dynamic symlink" which takes me to the right version based on a variable. If the machine I am currently logged in to, is ...
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  • 26.9k
10 votes
1 answer
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, ...
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do I cd up and down again with symlinks in bash?

Structure: /base/ +- somedir/ +- symlink/ -> /some_other_dir This command (in addition to my Makefiles) fails: cd /base/symlink ls ../somedir Bash complains that ../somedir does not ...
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3 votes
2 answers
585 views

"Junctioned" symbolic links [duplicate]

Does Linux have the capability to use "junctioned" symbolic links? I'm not sure if this is an actual term or not, so let me explain the concept. I have a git repository containing all my ...
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  • 399
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Can't delete and remove SELinux context or ACL from a symlink in /usr/lib under root

I'm on Fedora 27 and experience problems with updating the packages by dnf update. The problem is exactly as described here: https://superuser.com/q/1005740/683161 I tried to delete symlink under /...
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63 votes
6 answers
76k views

How can I remove all symbolic links with a special target?

With the command: ls -la * I can list all my symbolic links. How can I remove all symbolic links which are linked to a special folder? For example: In my directory usr/local/bin I have the ...
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44 votes
7 answers
34k views

Unix-portable way to get script's absolute path in zsh?

What is a portable1 way for a (zsh) script to determine its absolute path? On Linux I use something like mypath=$(readlink -f $0) ...but this is not portable. (E.g., readlink on darwin does not ...
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  • 12.8k
37 votes
5 answers
88k views

Finding the original file of a symbolic link

So let's say I have a symbolic link of a file in my home directory to another file on a different partition. How would I find the target location of the linked file? By this, I mean, let's say I have ...
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  • 1,255
48 votes
2 answers
58k views

find usage with -L

I have link -> file I do find -L . -name 'link' And get ./link Why is that? man find says: -L : Follow symbolic links. When find examines or prints information about files, the ...
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10 votes
3 answers
53k views

Symlink from one workstation to another without mount

I am trying to create a symlink of a file on one linux workstation to another linux workstation, without having to 'mount' any network shares. Here's what I am trying to do, but can't get it to work. ...
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24 votes
2 answers
17k views

How does /dev/fd relate to /proc/self/fd/?

$ ls -l /dev/stdin /dev/fd/0 lrwx------ 1 tim tim 64 2011-08-07 09:53 /dev/fd/0 -> /dev/pts/2 lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 15 2011-08-06 08:14 /dev/stdin -> /proc/self/fd/0 $ ls -l /dev/pts/2 /proc/...
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  • 89.9k
19 votes
2 answers
11k views

Is there way to replace value of symbolic link? [duplicate]

Is there way to replace value of symbolic link? For example I want to replace symbolic link like this: first -> /home/username/foo/very/long/directories/that/I/do/not/want/to/type/again to ...
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  • 4,525
12 votes
3 answers
6k views

Providing /bin and /lib inside a chroot jail

I need to be able to provide the /bin and /lib directories inside a chroot jail so that programs can dynamically link properly. Is there a way to accomplish this without making a copy of the /bin and ...
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8 votes
4 answers
4k views

Using ~ in symlink target or making a symlink with a variable

I would like to create a symlink to ~/foo/ but when I write that, ~ is always resolved to the absolute home path. I've used ../s in the past and they work fine, is ~ not allowed? The reason I'd like ...
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  • 1,843
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Actual content of a symlink file

I searched but couldn't find anything - I am looking for a breakdown of the file structure of a symlink in bytes, in a ext filesystem. I have tried creating a symlink file and then using hexdump on ...
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