What is the difference between a hard link and a symbolic link?

Sebastian Orozco Marin
2 min readSep 29, 2020
Source: https://medium.com/@elenaserebryakoff/hard-link-vs-symbolic-link-c9d8b979f237. Owner: Elena Serebryakova

Symbolic link

This link is also called soft link and point directly to the path of the file. This is called soft link because if the original file where we are pointing is moved the link disappear and we can not access to the file or directory anymore. We can see this links as the direct access used on our desktop.

This links are created with the command

ln -s [Path] [Name ]

On the following image we can see how this link looks on the console. This links are commonly used for the directories that contains the versions of the system. This allow to update the version of different links at once because all the links are pointing to the same folder.

Hard links

This link differs from our previous because points to the allocation in memory and allows to change the path of the directory or file but still preserve the access to it. to create a hard link you use de ln command as the following:

ln [Path][Name]

We can see an example on the console here:

Now that you know the difference link , i hope you can handle them with more ease.

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