Symbolic links, aka symlinks

Symbolic links, aka symlinks, reference other files/directories, essentially acting as short cuts to the file/directory they reference (note that there are two kinds - hard and soft, aka symbolic links, aka symlinks). I won't go into details because there's loads of documentation about them in the linux man pages and on the internet. However, the details of how their owner, group and permissions effect their usage is not so obviously documented. Hence this page.

File operations on a symlink will act on their target, except for renaming or deleting them.

For most operations, the permissions of a symlink are meaningless - it's the permissions of the file/directory one points to (the target) that is used. The exceptions to this are renaming and removing the symlink (remember that removing a file is dependent on the permissions on its parent directory).

You can change owner or group via 'chown -h user:group linkname', but only if your system has lchown installed.

Last modified: 18/09/2008 Tags: (none)

This website is a personal resource. Nothing here is guaranteed correct or complete, so use at your own risk and try not to delete the Internet. -Stephan

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