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

NAME
     ln	-- make	hard and symbolic links	to files

SYNOPSIS
     ln	[-fhLnPs] source [target]
     ln	[-fLPs]	source ... [directory]

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	     Unlink any	already	existing file, permitting the link to occur.

     -h	     If	the target is a	symlink	to a directory,	do not descend into
	     it.

     -L	     When creating a hard link and the source is a symbolic link, link
	     to	the fully resolved target of the symbolic link.	 This is the
	     default.  The -L option overrides any previous -P options.

     -n	     An	alias for -h for compatibility with other operating systems.

     -P	     When creating a hard link and the source is a symbolic link, link
	     to	the symbolic link itself.  The -P option overrides any previ-
	     ous -L options.

     -s	     Create a symbolic link.

     By	default, ln makes "hard" links.	 A hard	link to	a file is indistin-
     guishable from the	original directory entry; any changes to a file	are
     effectively independent of	the name used to reference the file.  Hard
     links may not normally refer to directories and may not span file sys-
     tems.

     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, refer to directories, and refer to
     non-existent files.

     Given one or two arguments, ln creates a link to an existing file source.
     If	target is given, the link has that name; target	may also be a direc-
     tory in which to place the	link.  Otherwise, it is	placed in the current
     directory.	 If only the directory is specified, the link will be made to
     the last component	of source.

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

EXIT STATUS
     The ln utility exits 0 on success,	and >0 if an error occurs.

EXAMPLES
     Create a symbolic link named /home/www and	point it to /var/www:

	   # ln	-s /var/www /home/www

     Hard link /usr/local/bin/fooprog to file /usr/local/bin/fooprog-1.0:

	   # ln	/usr/local/bin/fooprog-1.0 /usr/local/bin/fooprog

     As	an exercise, try the following commands:

	   $ ls	-i /bin/[
	   11553 /bin/[
	   $ ls	-i /bin/test
	   11553 /bin/test

     Note that both files have the same	inode; that is,	/bin/[ is essentially
     an	alias for the test(1) command.	This hard link exists so test(1) may
     be	invoked	from shell scripts, for	example, using the if [	] construct.

     In	the next example, the second call to ln	removes	the original foo and
     creates a replacement pointing to baz:

	   $ mkdir bar baz
	   $ ln	-s bar foo
	   $ ln	-shf baz foo

     Without the -h option, this would instead leave foo pointing to bar and
     inside foo	create a new symlink baz pointing to itself.  This results
     from directory-walking.

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

STANDARDS
     The ln utility is compliant with the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 ("POSIX.1")
     specification.

     The flags [-hn] are extensions to that specification.

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

CAVEATS
     Since the source file must	have its link count incremented, a hard	link
     cannot be created to a file which is flagged immutable or append-only
     (see chflags(1)).

FreeBSD	13.0			August 10, 2016			  FreeBSD 13.0

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | EXIT STATUS | EXAMPLES | SEE ALSO | STANDARDS | HISTORY | CAVEATS

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