What is a symlink Linux?

A symlink (also called a symbolic link) is a type of file in Linux that points to another file or a folder on your computer. Symlinks are similar to shortcuts in Windows. Some people call symlinks “soft links” – a type of link in Linux/UNIX systems – as opposed to “hard links.”

A symbolic link is a file-system object that points to another file system object. The object being pointed to is called the target. Symbolic links are transparent to users; the links appear as normal files or directories, and can be acted upon by the user or application in exactly the same manner.

A symbolic link, also termed a soft link, is a special kind of file that points to another file, much like a shortcut in Windows or a Macintosh alias. Unlike a hard link, a symbolic link does not contain the data in the target file. It simply points to another entry somewhere in the file system.

6 Answers. You can use rm to delete the symlink. will remove the symlink. You can try the unlink command as well.

1 Answer. Yes, a symbolic link is a pointer to another location. This means that any changes you make are in fact updating at the target location.

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A symlink is essentially a pointer to a file or folder located elsewhere, consumes little space and is very fast to create (compared to copying a file and its contents). Because of this, developers often replace duplicate copies of shared files/folders with symlinks referencing physical files/folders.

Since a symbolic link is essentially grafted to the file system, it doesn’t have a footprint, so to speak, whereas a shortcut is an actual file on the hard disk. … As you can see, the shortcut is an actual file that takes up 4KB of disk space. The symbolic link uses 0 bytes.

3.3. 5.1. Link types

  • Hard link: Associate two or more file names with the same inode. Hard links share the same data blocks on the hard disk, while they continue to behave as independent files. …
  • Soft link or symbolic link (or for short: symlink): a small file that is a pointer to another file.

A soft link (also called symlink or symbolic link) is a file system entry that points to the file name and location. … Deleting the symbolic link does not remove the original file. If, however, the file to which the soft link points is removed, the soft link stops working, it is broken.

When you remove a symlink, the file it points to is not affected. Use the ls -l command to check whether a given file is a symbolic link, and to find the file or directory that symbolic link point to.

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A hard link will never point to a deleted file. A hard link is like a pointer to the actual file data. And the pointer is called “inode” in file system terminology. So, in other words, creating a hard link is creating another inode or a pointer to a file.

Then, there are three ways to change the symlink:

  1. Use ln with -f force and even for directories -n (inode could get reused): ln -sfn /some/new/path linkname.
  2. Remove the symlink and create a new one (even for directories): rm linkname; ln -s /some/new/path linkname.
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