Sean Yeh

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Shell tips: ln

Published: 2018-08-20
tags: tech,shell,linux

Argument order

Don't remember how to use ln to create a symbolic link?

Was it ln -s original link or ln -s link original?

For commands like cp and mv, there is a clear concept of SOURCE and DESTINATION. You copy/move the source to the destination. But for ln, are you creating a link from or to the original?

How to remember

Back in college, I had a friend who mentioned to me a simple way to remember, and I have never forgotten since then.

If you use ln with only one argument, the original, it will automatically create the link in your current working directory.

For example, ln -s /path/to/original will create the link:

original -> /path/to/original

Thus, providing a second argument is simply giving the filename for the link.


ln -s original link