Linux Command Library
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ln

make links between files

- Create a symbolic link to a file (or folder):
ln -s [path/to/file] [path/to/symlink]

- Overwrite an existing symbolic to point to a different file:
ln -sf [path/to/new_file] [path/to/symlink]

- Create a hard link to a file:
ln [path/to/file] [path/to/hardlink]

ln [,OPTION/]... [,-T/] ,TARGET LINK_NAME (1st form)/ ln [,OPTION/]... ,TARGET (2nd form)/ ln [,OPTION/]... ,TARGET/... ,DIRECTORY (3rd form)/ ln [,OPTION/]... ,-t DIRECTORY TARGET/... ,(4th form)/

In the 1st form, create a link to TARGET with the name LINK_NAME. In the 2nd form, create a link to TARGET in the current directory. In the 3rd and 4th forms, create links to each TARGET in DIRECTORY. Create hard links by default, symbolic links with --symbolic. By default, each destination (name of new link) should not already exist. When creating hard links, each TARGET must exist. Symbolic links can hold arbitrary text; if later resolved, a relative link is interpreted in relation to its parent directory.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.

--backup[=,CONTROL/]
make a backup of each existing destination file
-b
like --backup but does not accept an argument
-d, -F, --directory
allow the superuser to attempt to hard link directories (note: will probably fail due to system restrictions, even for the superuser)
-f, --force
remove existing destination files
-i, --interactive
prompt whether to remove destinations
-L, --logical
dereference TARGETs that are symbolic links
-n, --no-dereference
treat LINK_NAME as a normal file if it is a symbolic link to a directory
-P, --physical
make hard links directly to symbolic links
-r, --relative
create symbolic links relative to link location
-s, --symbolic
make symbolic links instead of hard links
-S, --suffix=,SUFFIX/
override the usual backup suffix
-t, --target-directory=,DIRECTORY/
specify the DIRECTORY in which to create the links
-T, --no-target-directory
treat LINK_NAME as a normal file always
-v, --verbose
print name of each linked file
--help
display this help and exit
--version
output version information and exit

The backup suffix is '~', unless set with --suffix or SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX. The version control method may be selected via the --backup option or through the VERSION_CONTROL environment variable. Here are the values:

none, off
never make backups (even if --backup is given)
numbered, t
make numbered backups
existing, nil
numbered if numbered backups exist, simple otherwise
simple, never
always make simple backups

Using -s ignores -L and -P. Otherwise, the last option specified controls behavior when a TARGET is a symbolic link, defaulting to -P.

Written by Mike Parker and David MacKenzie.

GNU coreutils online help: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/> Report ln translation bugs to <http://translationproject.org/team/>

Copyright © 2016 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <http://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>. This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

link(2), symlink(2)

Full documentation at: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/ln> or available locally via: info '(coreutils) ln invocation'

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