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
2answers
9k views

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. ...
16
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
135
votes
8answers
64k 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 ...
75
votes
5answers
126k 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 ...
59
votes
10answers
38k views

What is the difference between symbolic and hard links?

When would you use one over the other?
2
votes
1answer
5k 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, ...
62
votes
6answers
85k 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. ...
73
votes
8answers
80k 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?
13
votes
3answers
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
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 ...
336
votes
10answers
198k 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. ...
111
votes
4answers
478k 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 ...
58
votes
4answers
45k 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 ...
71
votes
3answers
57k 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?
62
votes
4answers
42k 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 ...
30
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
21
votes
8answers
37k 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: ...
72
votes
6answers
125k 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 ...
40
votes
2answers
19k 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 ...
23
votes
5answers
65k 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 ...
31
votes
1answer
13k 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 ...
66
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
34
votes
5answers
18k 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 ...
27
votes
2answers
12k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
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 ...
9
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
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 '/' ...
60
votes
6answers
48k 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 ...
55
votes
8answers
42k 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 ...
37
votes
8answers
8k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
46
votes
4answers
182k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
10
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, ...
5
votes
1answer
881 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
287 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 ...
53
votes
6answers
66k 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 ...
37
votes
7answers
26k views

Portable way to get script's absolute path?

What is a portable 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
48k 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. ...
39
votes
2answers
47k 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 ...
28
votes
6answers
18k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
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 ...
18
votes
3answers
52k views

What does `l` mean in an `ls` listing?

When I run ls -adl .* in one of my directories, I get a file that has this listing: lrwxrwxrwx 1 user group 43 Jul 3 16:25 .#filename.py -> person@computer.edu.4018:1372874769 The filename ...
16
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a way to make perl -i not clobber symlinks?

A friend of mine points out that if you do: perl -pi.bak -e 's/foo/bar/' somefile when "somefile" is actually a symlink, perl does just what the docs say it will do: It does this by renaming the ...
12
votes
1answer
7k views

Symbolic link permissions don't change with chmod

I have access to a remote Linux machine where every time I create a symbolic link, it is created by default with the following permissions: lrwxrwxrwx If I try to change the permissions of the ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

find all symbolic links in a directory tree pointing outside that tree

I frequently move directory trees to other locations or copy their tarballs to other machines, and I would like to have a method to check whether any symlinks in a directory tree A point to locations ...