Linux repositories inspector
GNU coreutils 8.32
March 2020


The basic file, shell and text manipulation utilities of the GNU operating system


coreutils common optional components


Documentation for the GNU Core Utilities


ln - make links between files


ln [\,OPTION\/]... [\,-T\/] \,TARGET LINK_NAME\/
ln [\,OPTION\/]... \,TARGET\/
ln [\,OPTION\/]... \,TARGET\/... \,DIRECTORY\/
ln [\,OPTION\/]... \,-t DIRECTORY TARGET\/...


In the 1st form, create a link to TARGET with the name LINK_NAME. In the 2nd form, create a link to TARGET in the current directory. In the 3rd and 4th forms, create links to each TARGET in DIRECTORY. Create hard links by default, symbolic links with --symbolic. By default, each destination (name of new link) should not already exist. When creating hard links, each TARGET must exist. Symbolic links can hold arbitrary text; if later resolved, a relative link is interpreted in relation to its parent directory.
Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too.
make a backup of each existing destination file
-b like --backup but does not accept an argument
-d, -F, --directory
allow the superuser to attempt to hard link directories (note: will probably fail due to system restrictions, even for the superuser)
-f, --force
remove existing destination files
-i, --interactive
prompt whether to remove destinations
-L, --logical
dereference TARGETs that are symbolic links
-n, --no-dereference
treat LINK_NAME as a normal file if it is a symbolic link to a directory
-P, --physical
make hard links directly to symbolic links
-r, --relative
create symbolic links relative to link location
-s, --symbolic
make symbolic links instead of hard links
-S, --suffix=\,SUFFIX\/
override the usual backup suffix
-t, --target-directory=\,DIRECTORY\/
specify the DIRECTORY in which to create the links
-T, --no-target-directory
treat LINK_NAME as a normal file always
-v, --verbose
print name of each linked file
--help display this help and exit
output version information and exit
The backup suffix is ’~’, unless set with --suffix or SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX. The version control method may be selected via the --backup option or through the VERSION_CONTROL environment variable. Here are the values:
none, off
never make backups (even if --backup is given)
numbered, t
make numbered backups
existing, nil
numbered if numbered backups exist, simple otherwise
simple, never
always make simple backups
Using -s ignores -L and -P. Otherwise, the last option specified controls behavior when a TARGET is a symbolic link, defaulting to -P.


Written by Mike Parker and David MacKenzie.


GNU coreutils online help: <>
Report any translation bugs to <>


Copyright © 2020 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


link(2), symlink(2)
Full documentation <>
or available locally via: info \(aq(coreutils) ln invocation\(aq
⇧ Top