To make links between files you need to use ln command. A symbolic link (also known as a soft link or symlink) consists of a special type of file that serves as a reference to another file or directory. To create a symbolic link, use the -s (--symbolic) option.

There are two types of links in Linux/UNIX systems:

  • Hard links: You can think of a hard link as an additional name for an existing file. Hard links are associating two or more file names with the same inode.

  • Soft links: is something like a shortcut in Windows. It is an indirect pointer to a file or directory. Unlike a hard link, a symbolic link can point to a file or a directory on a different filesystem or partition.

Hard links cannot be created for directories and files on a different filesystem or partition.


The ln command syntax for creating symbolic links is as follows:


That’s pretty straightforward - all you have to do is to use the ln command in the following way:

ln [file] [hard-link-to-file]


ln test.txt test_hard_link.txt

Soft links are created with the ln command. For example, the following would create a soft link named link to a file named file, both in the current directory

ln -s <File> <Link>

To verify new soft link run:

ls -l file link


-rw-r--r--  1 veryv  wheel  0 Mar  7 22:01 file
lrwxr-xr-x  1 veryv  wheel  5 Mar  7 22:01 link -> file1

From the above outputs, it is clear that a symbolic link named ‘link’ contains the name of the file named ‘file’ to which it is linked.

Overwrite/Remove Existing Destination

You can make ln override this behavior by using the -f command-line option.

ln -f <File> <Link>

You can use the -i command-line option if you want to make all this deletion process interactive.

ln -i <File> <Link>

Delete Linked

There are some other things that you should consider when you need to delete links or the files to which they point.

Let’s delete every hard link first by command rm . Remember that every directory entry that points to an inode is simply a hard link.

By the way, you can use unlink to delete linked, too.

unlink file

we recommend you guy to use unlink for deleting the link between files.

For more option or flags, using –help to show.