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LN(1)			  BSD General Commands Manual			 LN(1)

     ln, link -- link files

     ln	[-L | -P | -s [-F]] [-f	| -iw] [-hnv] source_file [target_file]
     ln	[-L | -P | -s [-F]] [-f	| -iw] [-hnv] source_file ... target_dir
     link source_file target_file

     The ln utility creates a new directory entry (linked file)	for the	file
     name specified by target_file.  The target_file will be created with the
     same file modes as	the source_file.  It is	useful for maintaining multi-
     ple 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	and symbolic link.

     The options are as	follows:

     -F	   If the target file already exists and is a directory, then remove
	   it so that the link may occur.  The -F option should	be used	with
	   either -f or	-i options.  If	neither	-f nor -i is specified,	-f is
	   implied.  The -F option is a	no-op unless -s	is specified.

     -L	   When	creating a hard	link to	a symbolic link, create	a hard link to
	   the target of the symbolic link.  This is the default.  This	option
	   cancels the -P option.

     -P	   When	creating a hard	link to	a symbolic link, create	a hard link to
	   the symbolic	link itself.  This option cancels the -L option.

     -f	   If the target file already exists, then unlink it so	that the link
	   may occur.  (The -f option overrides	any previous -i	and -w op-

     -h	   If the target_file or target_dir is a symbolic link,	do not follow
	   it.	This is	most useful with the -f	option,	to replace a symlink
	   which may point to a	directory.

     -i	   Cause ln to write a prompt to standard error	if the target file ex-
	   ists.  If the response from the standard input begins with the
	   character `y' or `Y', then unlink the target	file so	that the link
	   may occur.  Otherwise, do not attempt the link.  (The -i option
	   overrides any previous -f options.)

     -n	   Same	as -h, for compatibility with other ln implementations.

     -s	   Create a symbolic link.

     -v	   Cause ln to be verbose, showing files as they are processed.

     -w	   Warn	if the source of a symbolic link does not currently exist.

     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-
     tively independent	of the name used to reference the file.	 Directories
     may not be	hardlinked, and	hard links 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
     readlink(2) call may be used to read the contents of a symbolic link.
     Symbolic 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 speci-
     fied, 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.

     When the utility is called	as link, exactly two arguments must be sup-
     plied, neither of which may specify a directory.  No options may be sup-
     plied in this simple mode of operation, which performs a link(2) opera-
     tion using	the two	passed arguments.

     Create a symbolic link named /home/src and	point it to /usr/src:

	   # ln	-s /usr/src /home/src

     Hard link /usr/local/bin/fooprog to file /usr/local/bin/fooprog-1.0:

	   # ln	/usr/local/bin/fooprog-1.0 /usr/local/bin/fooprog

     As	an exercise, try the following commands:

	   # ls	-i /bin/[
	   11553 /bin/[
	   # ls	-i /bin/test
	   11553 /bin/test

     Note that both files have the same	inode; that is,	/bin/[ is essentially
     an	alias for the test(1) command.	This hard link exists so test(1) may
     be	invoked	from shell scripts, for	example, using the if [	] construct.

     In	the next example, the second call to ln	removes	the original foo and
     creates a replacement pointing to baz:

	   # mkdir bar baz
	   # ln	-s bar foo
	   # ln	-shf baz foo

     Without the -h option, this would instead leave foo pointing to bar and
     inside foo	create a new symlink baz pointing to itself.  This results
     from directory-walking.

     An	easy rule to remember is that the argument order for ln	is the same as
     for cp(1):	The first argument needs to exist, the second one is created.

     The -h, -i, -n, -v	and -w options are non-standard	and their use in
     scripts is	not recommended.  They are provided solely for compatibility
     with other	ln implementations.

     The -F option is a	FreeBSD	extension and should not be used in portable

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

     The ln utility conforms to	IEEE Std 1003.2-1992 ("POSIX.2").

     The simplified link command conforms to Version 2 of the Single UNIX
     Specification ("SUSv2").

     An	ln command appeared in Version 1 AT&T UNIX.

BSD				 June 12, 2017				   BSD


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