LN(1) BSD General Commands Manual LN(1)NAMEln — make links
SYNOPSISln [-fs] source_file [target_file]
ln [-fs] source_file ... [target_dir]
The ln utility creates a new directory entry (linked file) which has the
same modes as the original file. It is useful for maintaining multiple
copies of a file in many places at once without using up storage for the
“copies”; instead, a link “points” to the original copy. There are two
types of links; hard links and symbolic links. How a link “points” to a
file is one of the differences between a hard or symbolic link.
The options are as follows:
-f Unlink any already existing file, permitting the link to occur.
-s Create a symbolic link.
By default ln makes hard links. A hard link to a file is indistinguish‐
able from the original directory entry; any changes to a file are effec‐
tive independent of the name used to reference the file. Hard links may
not normally refer to directories and may not span file systems.
A symbolic link contains the name of the file to which it is linked. The
referenced file is used when an open(2) operation is performed on the
link. A stat(2) on a symbolic link will return the linked-to file; an
lstat(2) must be done to obtain information about the link. The
readlink(2) call may be used to read the contents of a symbolic link.
Symbolic links may span file systems and may refer to directories.
Given one or two arguments, ln creates a link to an existing file
source_file. If target_file is given, the link has that name;
target_file may also be a directory in which to place the link; otherwise
it is placed in the current directory. If only the directory is speci‐
fied, the link will be made to the last component of source_file.
Given more than two arguments, ln makes links in target_dir to all the
named source files. The links made will have the same name as the files
being linked to.
SEE ALSOlink(2), lstat(2), readlink(2), stat(2), symlink(2), symlink(7)HISTORY
A ln command appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.
4th Berkeley Distribution December 30, 1993 4th Berkeley Distribution