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The Linux Command Line by William E. Shotts Jr.

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Symbolic Links

As we look around, we are likely to see a directory listing with an entry like this:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 11 2012-08-11 07:34 libc.so.6 -> libc-2.6.so

Notice how the first letter of the listing is l and the entry seems to have two filenames? This is a special kind of a file called a symbolic link (also known as a soft link or symlink). In most Unix-like systems it is possible to have a file referenced by multiple names. While the value of this may not be obvious now, it is really a useful feature.

Picture this scenario: A program requires the use of a shared resource of some kind contained in a file named foo, but foo has frequent version changes. It would be good to include the version number in the filename so the administrator ...

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