ln Command: Tutorial & Examples
Creating links between files
ln command is used to create links between files and directories.
It creates both hard links and symbolic (or soft) links.
A hard link is a mirror copy of the original file, pointing to the
same inode as the original. Changes made to the original file or the hard
link are reflected in both. A symbolic link, on the other hand, is a separate file that
points to the location of the original file. If the original file is deleted, the symbolic link becomes a broken link.
Usage of ln Command
The basic syntax of the
ln command is as follows:
ln [option] source target
sourceis the original file or directory.
targetis the link to be created.
optionis used to specify the type of link (hard or soft) to be created.
Creating Hard Links
To create a hard link, simply use the
ln command followed by the source and target. Here's an example:
ln file1.txt link1
In this case,
link1 is a hard link to
file1.txt. Any changes made to
link1 will be reflected in
Creating Symbolic Links
To create a symbolic link, the
-s option is used with the
ln command. For instance:
ln -s file1.txt link1
This will create a symbolic link named
link1 that points to
file1.txt is deleted or moved,
will become a broken link.
Common Problems & Solutions
One of the common problems that the
ln command can solve is the issue of file duplication. Instead of having multiple
copies of the same file in different directories, you can simply create links to the original file. This not only saves
disk space but also ensures consistency of data.
Another common problem is the file not found error. This can occur when a file has been moved or deleted, and a program is still trying to access it through a symbolic link. The solution is to update the symbolic link to point to the new location of the file or to create a new hard link.
In conclusion, the
ln command is a powerful tool in the Linux filesystem. It is invaluable in situations where you
need to create shortcuts to files or directories or when you want to keep multiple copies of a file in sync. Mastering
ln command is, therefore, a significant step towards becoming a proficient Linux user.