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.\" @(#)ln.1 8.2 (Berkeley) 12/30/93
.Dd December 30, 1993
.Dt LN 1
.Os BSD 4
.Nd make links
.Op Fl fs
.Op Fl fs
.Ar source_file ...
utility creates a new directory entry (linked file) which has the
same modes as the original file.
It is useful for maintaining multiple copies of a file in many places
at once without using up storage for the
.Dq copies ;
instead, a link
to the original copy.
There are two types of links; hard links and symbolic links.
How a link
to a file is one of the differences between a hard or symbolic link.
The options are as follows:
.Bl -tag -width flag
.It Fl f
Unlink any already existing file, permitting the link to occur.
.It Fl s
Create a symbolic link.
A hard link to a file is indistinguishable from the original directory entry;
any changes to a file are effective independent of the name used to reference
Hard links may not normally refer to directories and may not span file systems.
A symbolic link contains the name of the file to
which it is linked. The referenced file is used when an
.Xr open 2
operation is performed on the link.
.Xr stat 2
on a symbolic link will return the linked-to file; an
.Xr lstat 2
must be done to obtain information about the link.
.Xr readlink 2
call may be used to read the contents of a symbolic link.
Symbolic links may span file systems and may refer to directories.
Given one or two arguments,
creates a link to an existing file
.Ar source_file .
is given, the link has that name;
may also be a directory in which to place the link;
otherwise it is placed in the current directory.
If only the directory is specified, the link will be made
to the last component of
.Ar source_file .
Given more than two arguments,
makes links in
to all the named source files.
The links made will have the same name as the files being linked to.
.Sh SEE ALSO
.Xr link 2 ,
.Xr lstat 2 ,
.Xr readlink 2 ,
.Xr stat 2 ,
.Xr symlink 2 ,
.Xr symlink 7
command appeared in
.At v6 .