Links in Linux are used to refer to a single file by multiple names. They are used to make files more accessible, to give commands multiple names, to enable programs that look for the same files in different locations to access the same files, etc. Links in Linux have a similar purpose as shortcuts in Windows.

Links are created using the ln command. Two types of links exist in Linux:

  • hard links – point to data on the hard disk and share the same inode number.
  • soft (symbolic) links – special types of files that point to other files instead of pointing to data on the hard drive. Unlike hard links, they don’t share the same inode number.


By default, the ln command creates hard links. To create soft links, you need to use the -s option with the ln command.
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