Difference between a hard link and a symbolic link

Hard Link:

Soft Link:

How to create?

  • Original file that we want to “linked” : OriginalFile
  • File that will connect by a soft link: SoftLink file
  • File that will connect by a hard link: HardLink file

To create a hard link:

ln {OriginalFile} {HardLink file}

To create a soft link:

ln -s {Originalfile} {SoftLink file}

what is the difference?

Now you can see the real difference!

Now, let’s go to terminal and write an example!

first, we are creating our soft link & hard link file to the source file: prueba/saludos
First image:difference between hard link (hard-saludos) , soft link (soft-saludos), source file (saludos)
Second image: the content is the same!

Finally, let’s check the differences:

  • Types of files (first letter of the left column): Hard Link is a file (-), Soft Link (l) is a link
  • Also, we can check that soft link make a pointer ( — ->) to the source file “prueba/saludos”
  • We check that permissions are differents: Hard link file have the same permissions of the source file (saludos). But soft link change (it has the executive permission(x) for all! this is because, the “soft-saludos” is a pointer to “saludos”.
  • the size of files are differents: “hard-saludos” have the same size of “saludos” (case of hard-link). The size of “soft-saludos” is less than “saludos” (soft-link)




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Katherine Soto

Katherine Soto

Software engineer in progress

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