>Link Files in Unix/Linux

>Links in Unix – Links are used in Unix/Linux for better managebility of file system.

Command we use for linking two files is ln.

ln -[options] existingfilename newfilename

Common options

-f —> Link files without questioning the user, even if the mode of target forbids writing.
-s —> Creates a symbolic link to existingfilename with the name of the newfilename.

Hard Link – A hard link is a reference to a file or directory that appears just like a file or directory, not a link. Hard links only work within a filesystem. In other words, don’t use hard links between mounted filesystems. A hard link is only a reference to the original file, not a copy of the file. Basically points to a file’s inode. So if you delete one file , it can still be accessed from other hard link available.

How do we check hard links
If we want to check hard links in one specific directory we can simple use ls -i command which list the files with their respective inode number.

If we want to find all files hard linked with one file we can use find command in following way –
find {location} -xdev -samefile {filename}

ls -lrt shows the number of links to a file. The column next to permissions shows number of links to that file.

Soft Link – A soft link/symbolic link is a pointer to another file or directory. It can be used just like the original file or directory. A symbolic link appears in a long listing (ls -l) with a reference to the original file/directory. A symbolic link, as opposed to a hard link, is required when linking from one filesystem to another and can be used within a filesystem as well.

How to find soft links
If we do ls -lrt in one directory it shows the soft links with target files.
Find all links in system – find {location} -type l

How to unlink files

unlink filename

PS: unlink and rm both remove the files, the difference is that unlink is a system call, rm is a shell utility that calls unlink.
Keep checking for more posts on Unix/Linux
This entry was posted in Filesystem, Link, Linux, Unix. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to >Link Files in Unix/Linux

  1. >Nice one dude, this is the most common asked question in any unix interview and its also one of most useful unix commands I also find useful command "ln -nsf sourcefinle linkname" to update any soft link which I used most.CheersJavinFIX Protocol tutorial

  2. >Thanks dude..I am following your blog to learn FIX these days. Nice attempt. keep in touch.Cheers

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