ln man page

ln — make links between files


ln -s {{path/to/file}} {{path/to/symlink}}

ln -sf {{path/to/new_file}} {{path/to/symlink}}

ln {{path/to/file}} {{path/to/hardlink}}


ln [OPTION]... [-T] TARGET LINK_NAME (1st form)
ln [OPTION]... TARGET (2nd form)
ln [OPTION]... TARGET... DIRECTORY (3rd form)
ln [OPTION]... -t DIRECTORY TARGET... (4th form)


In the 1st form, create a link to TARGET with the name LINK_NAME. In the 2nd form, create a link to TARGET in the current directory. In the 3rd and 4th forms, create links to each TARGET in DIRECTORY. Create hard links by default, symbolic links with --symbolic. By default, each destination (name of new link) should not already exist. When creating hard links, each TARGET must exist. Symbolic links can hold arbitrary text; if later resolved, a relative link is interpreted in relation to its parent directory.

Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.

make a backup of each existing destination file
like --backup but does not accept an argument
-d, -F, --directory
allow the superuser to attempt to hard link directories (note: will probably fail due to system restrictions, even for the superuser)
-f, --force
remove existing destination files
-i, --interactive
prompt whether to remove destinations
-L, --logical
dereference TARGETs that are symbolic links
-n, --no-dereference
treat LINK_NAME as a normal file if it is a symbolic link to a directory
-P, --physical
make hard links directly to symbolic links
-r, --relative
create symbolic links relative to link location
-s, --symbolic
make symbolic links instead of hard links
-S, --suffix=SUFFIX
override the usual backup suffix
-t, --target-directory=DIRECTORY
specify the DIRECTORY in which to create the links
-T, --no-target-directory
treat LINK_NAME as a normal file always
-v, --verbose
print name of each linked file
display this help and exit
output version information and exit

The backup suffix is '~', unless set with --suffix or SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX. The version control method may be selected via the --backup option or through the VERSION_CONTROL environment variable. Here are the values:

none, off
never make backups (even if --backup is given)
numbered, t
make numbered backups
existing, nil
numbered if numbered backups exist, simple otherwise
simple, never
always make simple backups

Using -s ignores -L and -P. Otherwise, the last option specified controls behavior when a TARGET is a symbolic link, defaulting to -P.


Written by Mike Parker and David MacKenzie.

Reporting Bugs

GNU coreutils online help: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/>
Report ln translation bugs to <http://translationproject.org/team/>

See Also

link(2), symlink(2)

Full documentation at: <http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/ln>
or available locally via: info '(coreutils) ln invocation'

Referenced By

alternatives(8), compress(1), dh_link(1), freeze(1), gzip(1), hier(7), link(2), lndir(1), mmv(1), refile(1), samefile(1), shtool(1), shtool-mkln(1), shtool-mkshadow(1), sln(8), symlink(2), symlink(7), update-alternatives(1).

Explore man page connections for ln(1).

GNU coreutils 8.25 October 2016