Originally posted by AnanthaP
Actually, the "link" command is far superior to a "shortcut". It actually creates a second entry in the directory entry with the same "-i-node" (pointer to the file). So while changes in one file get reflected in the linked one also (as you might expect), when you are done with the fisrt entry, you can delete it while the file would still exist under the second name. In the case of a 'shortcut", the shortcut would cease to work.
...now I got curious here. What you are talking about is a hard symlink aren't you? His example were creating soft symlinks. There is a difference. A hard link can only refer to a file on the same partition since it points to a certain i-node and also increments a counter so that the fs knows that there are actually two file pointing at the same segment on i.e. a haddrive. That way when one of the files are removed it knows that there is still another file pointing at the segment.
But the thing is that a soft symlink is created more like in windows (apart from as you said that it's not a file - the referens to the file it's pointing to is saved in the directory file instead) - it is just a plain file which is pointing to a location in the UNIX filesystem i.e.
'/etc/lilo.conf'. That is why a soft link stops to work after you've removed the file they are pointing to.
For a newbie I normally skip the hard link discussions, because usually the soft ones works perfectly thrueout the systems because most knows that if you delete source file the symlink stops to work and that's the only problem. Hardlinks are more important if one is working with links to library files or big very important files...in my opinion.