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Old 09-10-2003, 02:45 PM   #1
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Talking What is a symlink and how do I create one.

Hi --

I am a Linux newbe and I am trying to install ColdFusion MX on a Cobalt Raq550. While reading the lists I have come across references to symlinks. What are they and how do I make one?


As an aside if anyone out there has sucessfully installed CFMX or CFMX 6.1 on a Sun/Cobalt RaQ550 any hints wold be most welcome!
Old 09-10-2003, 03:07 PM   #2
Mad Merlin
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ln -s <target> <symlink name>

You'll probably want to read the man pages also:

man ln

But basically, a symlink is an object that points to another object, so that when you access the object, you can be directed to the target of the symlink. Symlinks are similar in concept to "shortcuts" in Windows, but are more functional in that they can be dereferenced by programs also.
Old 09-10-2003, 03:08 PM   #3
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Links are pointers between files. With links, you can have files exist in many locations and be accessible by many names. There are two types of links: hard and soft.
Hard links are names for a particular file. They can only exist within a single directory and are only removed when the real name is removed from the system. These are useful in some cases, but many users find the soft link to be more versatile.

The soft link, also called a symbolic link, can point to a file outside of its directory. It is actually a small file containing the information it needs. You can add and remove soft links without affecting the actual file.
Links do not have their own set of permissions or ownerships, but instead reflect those of the file they point to. Here is a common example:

$ ls -l /bin/sh
   lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root     4 Apr  6 12:34 /bin/sh -> bash
The -s option tells ln to make a symbolic link. The next option is the target of the link, and the final option is what to call the link. In this case, it will just make a file called mp3 in your home directory that points to /var/media/mp3. You can call the link itself whatever you want by just changing the last option.

Making a hard link is just as simple. All you have to do is leave off the -s option. Making a hard link out of the previous command would be done as follows:
$ ln /var/media/mp3 ~/mp3

Last edited by 320mb; 09-10-2003 at 03:09 PM.


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