Hard Links and Symbolic Links In Ubuntu Linux

Hard links (also called as Hard Links) and Symbolic links are two different types of file system object that refer to the same file or directory. It is a method of creating an additional “link” to an existing file, which does not copy the data but instead just creates another path to the same data.

What is Hard Links in Linux?

Hard links are not a part of the file system. They are a part of the file system, but they are not physically present in it.

For example, consider two files called ‘ABC’ and ‘DEF’, both located in the same folder. Let’s say you wanted to create hard links for these files (this is often done with document files). You could create a new file called ‘XXX’, then use the ln command to create hard links from ABC and DEF so that their respective names point at XXX instead:

How to Create Hard Links in Linux?

  • Create a file called test.txt in your home directory:

> mkdir temp

> touch temp/test.txt

> ls -l

  • Copy the test.txt file to create another copy called Copy of test.txt and rename it as NewTestFile:

> cp temp/test1 && ls -l, which shows that both files are identical in size, but one has changed its name, while the other remains intact with its original name.3. Let’s see how this works with hard links:

What is Symbolic Links in Linux?

A symbolic link is a special type of file that points to another file or directory.

The most common example of symbolic links are shortcuts in Windows and Mac OSX. They’re also sometimes called soft links or symlink.

Symbolic links are created using the ln command, which stands for “link”.

How to Create Symbolic Links in Linux?

In this section, we will learn how to create symbolic links in Linux. Let’s first understand what is a symbolic link and why they are used.

As a reminder, hard links are created when you have multiple files with same names on the same disk partition, while soft links are created when you have two or more files with different names on different disk partitions but point to the same file (i.e., all leading directories). In other words, soft links are virtual copies of files whereas hard links are actual copies of files.

Symbolic Links are useful when you want a file or directory name to be displayed differently than what it actually is called on your system. Symbolic links can be created for any type of file or directory including regular files (like text documents), executable scripts (.sh), shell scripts (.bash), binary executables (.exe), directories etc…

What is the difference between hard links and symbolic links in Ubuntu Linux?

Hard links and symbolic links are two different types of links. A hard link gives you the ability to create a new name for a file or directory, while a symbolic link lets you create an alternative name for an existing file or directory.Symbolic links are more flexible than hard links because they allow you to link to files and directories. You can use them on any OS, not just Linux; however, they’re most common in Linux systems. Hard links only allow users to link to files


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