symlinks or soft links, are used to make either a file appear to be somwhere its not, or have a diffrent name. The command to create them is ln -s. softlinks are basically like shortcuts, and are files that simply point somewhere else.
Hard links are very rarely used, but actually point to a files inode data. All normal files are hardlinks. When you add a hardlink, the files inode structure increments a counter. so the file won't actually be deleted untill both hard links are removed. ln without the -s will create hardlinks.
alias is used primarily for altering the way commands behave by giving them options, or creating variations of commands. i.e
alias ls='ls --color=auto'
alias ll='ls -l'
so when you type ls you actually get ls --color-auto, and ll gets ls --color=auto -l.
It shouldn't be used like a link at all.
Last edited by leonscape; 06-07-2004 at 08:07 PM.