The ln command in Ubuntu Linux with examples



The article provides a tutorial on using the ‘ln’ command in Ubuntu Linux to link files and directories, thereby saving disk space and simplifying file management. It covers the creation of both hard links, which directly reference original files, and symbolic links, which act as shortcuts. Additionally, it outlines commonly used options in the ln…

The article explains using the ln command to link files and directories in Ubuntu Linux. It also provides examples you can use in your environment.

The ln command is useful when you want to reference a file or directory from multiple locations without duplicating it. You can create links between files and directories, serving as shortcuts or pointers to the original file or directory.

Using the ln command can save disk space and simplify file management, especially when dealing with large files or directories. Additionally, links can help avoid broken links or missing files when moving or renaming files.


The basic syntax of the ln command is as follows:


Here, TARGET refers to the original file or directory and LINK_NAME is the name of the link you want to create.

Creating hard links

By default, the ln command creates hard links. A hard link is a direct reference to the original file or directory. All the hard links will reflect any changes to the original file.

To create a hard link, use the following syntax:


For example, to create a hard link to a file named “file.txt” with a link name “link.txt,” you can run the following command:

ln file.txt link.txt

Creating symbolic links

Symbolic links (also known as soft links) are indirect references to the original file or directory. Unlike hard links, symbolic links act as shortcuts and can point to files or directories in different locations, even on different partitions.

To create a symbolic link, use the -s option:


For example, to create a symbolic link to a directory named “documents” with a link name “mydocs,” you can run the following command:

ln -s documents mydocs

Additional options

The ln command provides several additional options for different use cases. Here are a few commonly used options:

  • -b or --backup: Creates a backup of the target file before creating the link.
  • -f or --force: Removes the existing link and creates a new one, if it already exists.
  • -i or --interactive: Prompts for confirmation before overwriting an existing link.
  • -n or --no-derefernce: Treats symbolic links as regular files or directories.
  • -v or --verbose: Displays detailed output of the link creation process.

For more information about these options and additional functionalities, you can refer to the ln command’s manual page by running the command man ln.

That’s it! You now understand the ln command in Ubuntu Linux and how to create hard and symbolic links.


This post showed you how to use the ln command in Ubuntu Linux. Please use the comments form below if you find errors or have something to add.

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