What is Symlinks/(Symbolic Links) in linux?

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What is Symlinks?

A symlink is, in fact, a shortcut file. However, it is not the same as a conventional shortcut that is installed by a software installer on your Windows desktop, which is meant to facilitate the use of the application.

Yes, clicking on either kind of shortcut opens the associated object, but as we’ll see in a moment, there are some differences behind the scenes in each scenario.

A symlink creates the illusion that the linked object is truly present, whereas a conventional shortcut just directs to a certain location. Apps on your PC will interpret the symlink as the actual target item.

What are the Difference Between a Soft Link and a Hard Link?

Soft links :- Soft links can lead to any file system file or directory, much like shortcuts can.

Hard Link :- Although a hard link cannot be made for a file or folder located in a separate file system, hard links function as shortcuts for files and folders. The following method may be used to make these on Mac and Linux operating systems.

Soft links can lead to any file system file or directory, much like shortcuts can.

Although a hard link cannot be made for a file or folder located in a separate file system, hard links function as shortcuts for files and folders.

Let’s examine the procedures for adding and deleting symlinks. We’ll also look at what constitutes a broken link and how to remove it.

How to Create Symlinks?

Using the command line or terminal, you may make symbolic links. If you would rather not work directly with the terminal, we’ll cover point-and-click tools later in the course.

ln -s [/path/to/file] [/path/to/symlink]

The same command works on macOS too, since macOS is a UNIX-based operating system like Linux.

How can you remove a symbolic link using the command line?

ln -s /home/ashu ashu

This would create the ‘ashu’ symlinked folder, containing all of /home/ashu’s contents. The original folder will be impacted by any modifications made to this connected folder.

How to remove a symlink?

To avoid tampering with your data, you might wish to verify that a file or folder is a symlink before attempting to remove it.

ls -l <path-to-assumed-symlink>

The attributes of the file will appear on your terminal when you run this command. The file or folder is a symlink if the first character in the result is the tiny letter L (‘l’).

Additionally, the file or folder that the simlink points to would be indicated by an arrow (->) at the end.

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