Symlinks Guide for Linux: Everything You Need To Know

No one will argue with the fact that modern tech is here to make our lives simple and stress-free. Every tool, application, and feature available on your device is created to help you perform certain tasks faster and with less effort. Symbolic links aren’t an exception. These elements are available within all existing operating systems and often found to be extremely handy in everyday use.

What are symlinks, what benefits they give you, how to make the most of them, and how to remove the symbolic link on Mac? In our article, users of all operating systems will find the answer they are looking for!

Symbolic Link Guide for Linux


Although these links can be extremely useful, many people still have no idea what they are meant for, and even more, people have never even heard of their existence. If you are one of these people, this is a big omission. However, don’t get upset because we’ve got you covered! This article is a complete guide to using symlinks, and here we will tell you everything you need to know about these features starting with a clear definition.

This kind of link is also referred to as a soft link. To understand their essence, users should think of them as convenient shortcuts. Their main purpose is to take a user to the needed folder or file in less time and with almost no effort. However, although it sounds pretty similar to shortcuts, they are not the same. A soft link looks like a real file. However, it is vital to keep in mind that it is not an actual file even though it looks like it. It is more like a transition point that makes your navigation through the computer simple, allowing you to find the needed files faster.

Symlink Guidelines for Linux Users

In our guide, we are going to give you a few simple tips on how to use soft links on Linux. Let’s dive in!

1. Creating a link

Let’s start with the most important tip. Namely, how to create a new symlink on Linux. For this purpose, you will need to use the following command:

ln -s source_file my_link

ln -s /path/to/file1.txt /path/to/file2.txt

ls -s /etc/hosts /tmp/file

ls -ali /tmp/file /etc/hosts

2. Creating a directory

Since soft links are mainly used to link directories for simpler navigation through the system, it is vital to know how to create a new directory. Here is a command you should use:

$ mkdir the name of your directory

$ cd the name of your directory

3. Deleting a symlink

Just in case if you didn’t find using symbolic links helpful (which is unlikely) or if the file or directory is not relevant anymore, you may want to delete it from the system. How to do this? Here is a simple command to use:

rm /path/to/your/symbolic/link

Final Words

If you are wondering when symlinks can come in handy, you should know that there is much more to them, than many people believe! Such features allow users to extend the functionality of various services. Besides, symlinks allow us to gain faster access to important folders and files. And there are many other benefits of using them!

Want to see even more guidelines and handy tips? Check out OSxtips!

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