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LN(1)                   FreeBSD General Commands Manual                  LN(1)

NAME
     ln, link -- make links

SYNOPSIS
     ln [-Ffhinsv] source_file [target_file]
     ln [-Ffhinsv] source_file ... target_dir
     link source_file target_file

DESCRIPTION
     The ln utility creates a new directory entry (linked file) which has the
     same modes as the original file.  It is useful for maintaining multiple
     copies of a file in many places at once without using up storage for the
     ``copies''; instead, a link ``points'' to the original copy.  There are
     two types of links; hard links and symbolic links.  How a link ``points''
     to a file is one of the differences between a hard and symbolic link.

     The options are as follows:

     -f    If the target file already exists, then unlink it so that the link
           may occur.  (The -f option overrides any previous -i options.)

     -F    If the target file already exists and is a directory, then remove
           it so that the link may occur.  The -F option should be used with
           either -f or -i options.  If none is specified, -f is implied.  The
           -F option is a no-op unless -s option is specified.

     -h    If the target_file or target_dir is a symbolic link, do not follow
           it.  This is most useful with the -f option, to replace a symlink
           which may point to a directory.

     -i    Cause ln to write a prompt to standard error if the target file
           exists.  If the response from the standard input begins with the
           character `y' or `Y', then unlink the target file so that the link
           may occur.  Otherwise, do not attempt the link.  (The -i option
           overrides any previous -f options.)

     -n    Same as -h, for compatibility with other ln implementations.

     -s    Create a symbolic link.

     -v    Cause ln to be verbose, showing files as they are processed.

     By default, ln makes hard links.  A hard link to a file is indistinguish-
     able from the original directory entry; any changes to a file are effec-
     tively independent of the name used to reference the file.  Hard links
     may not normally refer to directories and may not span file systems.

     A symbolic link contains the name of the file to which it is linked.  The
     referenced file is used when an open(2) operation is performed on the
     link.  A stat(2) on a symbolic link will return the linked-to file; an
     lstat(2) must be done to obtain information about the link.  The
     readlink(2) call may be used to read the contents of a symbolic link.
     Symbolic links may span file systems and may refer to directories.

     Given one or two arguments, ln creates a link to an existing file
     source_file.  If target_file is given, the link has that name;
     target_file may also be a directory in which to place the link; otherwise
     it is placed in the current directory.  If only the directory is speci-
     fied, the link will be made to the last component of source_file.

     Given more than two arguments, ln makes links in target_dir to all the
     named source files.  The links made will have the same name as the files
     being linked to.

     When the utility is called as link, exactly two arguments must be sup-
     plied, neither of which may specify a directory.  No options may be sup-
     plied in this simple mode of operation, which performs a link(2) opera-
     tion using the two passed arguments.

COMPATIBILITY
     The -h, -i, -n and -v options are non-standard and their use in scripts
     is not recommended.  They are provided solely for compatibility with
     other ln implementations.

     The -F option is FreeBSD extention and should not be used in portable
     scripts.

SEE ALSO
     link(2), lstat(2), readlink(2), stat(2), symlink(2), symlink(7)

STANDARDS
     The ln utility conforms to IEEE Std 1003.2-1992 (``POSIX.2'').

     The simplified link command conforms to Version 2 of the Single UNIX
     Specification (``SUSv2'').

HISTORY
     An ln command appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.

FreeBSD 6.2                    February 14, 2006                   FreeBSD 6.2

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | COMPATIBILITY | SEE ALSO | STANDARDS | HISTORY

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