HomeUNIXCreate a Symbolic Link in UNIX

Create a Symbolic Link in UNIX

A 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.


To create a symbolic link, the syntax of the command is similar to a copy or move command: existing file first, destination file second. For example, to link the directory /export/space/common/archive to /archive for easy access, use:

ln -s /export/space/common/archive /archive

To link the runtime control script /etc/init.d/httpd to /etc/rc2.d/S77httpd, use:

cd /etc/rc2.d
ln -s ../init.d/httpd S77httpd

See also: Create a hard link in UNIX

Quinn McHenry
Quinn McHenry
Quinn was one of the original co-founders of Tech-Recipes. He is currently crafting iOS applications as a senior developer at Small Planet Digital in Brooklyn, New York.
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