Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

Uses for symbolic links

24th April 2007

UNIX (and Linux) does a wonderful trick with its file and folder shortcuts; it effectively treats them as file and folder transporters that transfer associate a file or folder that exists in one folder hierarchy with another and it is treated as if it exists in that hierarchy too. For example, the images folder under /www/htdocs/blog can have a link under /www/htdocs/ that makes it appear that its contents exist in both places without any file duplication. For instance, the pwd command cannot tell a folder from a folder shortcut. To achieve this, I use what are called symbolic links and the following command achieves the outcome in the example:

ln -s /www/htdocs/blog/images /www/htdocs/images

The first file path is the destination for the link while the second one is that for the link itself. I had a problem with Google Reader not showing up images in its feed displays so symbolic links rode to the rescue as they did for resolve a similar conundrum that I was encountering when editing posts in my hillwalking blog.

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