How do I change a symbolic link in Linux?

Then, there are three ways to change the symlink:

  1. Use ln with -f force and even for directories -n (inode could get reused): ln -sfn /some/new/path linkname.
  2. Remove the symlink and create a new one (even for directories): rm linkname; ln -s /some/new/path linkname.

No. The symlink system call will return EEXIST if newpath already exists. You can only link from a new node in the filesystem.

What happens to symlink if we rename a file ? Once you move a file to which symlink points, symlink is broken aka dangling symlink. You have to delete it and create new one if you want to point to the new filename.

Since symbolic links do not have modes chmod has no effect on the symbolic links. If file designates a directory, chmod changes the mode of each file in the entire subtree connected at that point. Do not follow symbolic links. Since symbolic links do not have modes chmod has no effect on the symbolic links.

To remove a symbolic link, use either the rm or unlink command followed by the name of the symlink as an argument. When removing a symbolic link that points to a directory do not append a trailing slash to the symlink name.

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The reason hard-linking directories is not allowed is a little technical. Essentially, they break the file-system structure. You should generally not use hard links anyway. Symbolic links allow most of the same functionality without causing problems (e.g ln -s target link ).

To create a symbolic link, use the -s ( –symbolic ) option. If both the FILE and LINK are given, ln will create a link from the file specified as the first argument ( FILE ) to the file specified as the second argument ( LINK ).

If a symbolic link is deleted, its target remains unaffected. If a symbolic link points to a target, and sometime later that target is moved, renamed or deleted, the symbolic link is not automatically updated or deleted, but continues to exist and still points to the old target, now a non-existing location or file.

To view the symbolic links in a directory:

  1. Open a terminal and move to that directory.
  2. Type the command: ls -la. This shall long list all the files in the directory even if they are hidden.
  3. The files that start with l are your symbolic link files.

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