The Beauty of Links on Unix Servers


Symbolic and hard links provide a way to avoid duplicating data on Unix/Linux systems, but the uses and restrictions vary depending on which kind of link you choose to use. Let’s look at how links can be most useful, how you can find and identify them, and what you need to consider when setting them up.

Hard vs soft links

Don’t let the names fool you. It’s not an issue of malleability, but a very big difference in how each type of link is implemented in the file system. A soft or “symbolic” link is simply a file that points to another file. If you look at a symbolic link using the ls command, you can easily tell that it’s a symbolic link.

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