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

     ln, link -- make links

     ln	[-Ffhinsv] source_file [target_file]
     ln	[-Ffhinsv] source_file ... target_dir
     link source_file target_file

     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 and symbolic	link.

     The options are as	follows:

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

     -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	none is	specified, -f is implied.  The
	   -F option is	a no-op	unless -s option is specified.

     -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.

     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.	 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
     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.

     The -h, -i, -n and	-v 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 FreeBSD extention	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			       February	14, 2006			   BSD


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