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LN(1)                        BSD Reference Manual                        LN(1)

NAME
     ln - make links

SYNOPSIS
     ln [-fs] source_file [target_file]
     ln [-fs] source_file ... [target_dir]

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 or symbolic link.

     The options are as follows:

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

     -s    Create a symbolic link.

     By default ln makes hard links.  A hard link to a file is indistinguish-
     able from the original directory entry; any changes to a file are effec-
     tive independent of the name used to reference the file.  Hard links may
     not normally refer to directories and may not span file systems.

     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 read-
     link(2) call may be used to read the contents of a symbolic link.  Sym-
     bolic links may span file systems and may refer to directories.

     Given one or two arguments, ln creates a link to an existing file
     source_file. If target_file is given, the link has that name; target_file
     may also be a directory 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_file.

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

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

HISTORY
     A ln command appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.

4th Berkeley Distribution      December 30, 1993                             1