[linux] Symbolic links (silly question)

Steve Herber herber at thing.com
Fri Oct 8 18:55:06 PDT 2004

A symbolic link is a special type of file. There is no relationship
between a symbolic link and the file it points to. If fact, the target
file does not even have to exist. If you have the locate command on
your computer you might search for links with that. Otherwise, use find.
Most Linux distributions include locate.

For example, if the symbolic link file is called link_to_target:

locate link_to_target


find / -name link_to_target -print

Remember that the locate command just runs find out of cron typically
each day but for security reasons may not show you the file you want.

Finally, a symbolic link is able to point anywhere, even into an NFS
file system. So you could have symbolic links to a file that reside on
other computers, if you export the target file with NFS.

Steve Herber herber at thing.com work: 206-221-7262
Security Engineer, UW Medicine, IT Services home: 425-454-2399

On Thu, 7 Oct 2004, Marie Tessier wrote:

> If I have a file and I think there is a symbolic link to it laying

> around on my computer somewhere, can I find out if there is a symbolic

> link, and can I find out where it is?


> Marie


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