symlink(2) -- Linux man page

 

NAME

symlink - make a new name for a file  

SYNOPSIS

#include <unistd.h>

int symlink(const char *oldpath, const char *newpath);  

DESCRIPTION

symlink creates a symbolic link named newpath which contains the string oldpath.

Symbolic links are interpreted at run-time as if the contents of the link had been substituted into the path being followed to find a file or directory.

Symbolic links may contain .. path components, which (if used at the start of the link) refer to the parent directories of that in which the link resides.

A symbolic link (also known as a soft link) may point to an existing file or to a nonexistent one; the latter case is known as a dangling link.

The permissions of a symbolic link are irrelevant; the ownership is ignored when following the link, but is checked when removal or renaming of the link is requested and the link is in a directory with the sticky bit set.

If newpath exists it will not be overwritten.  

RETURN VALUE

On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set appropriately.  

ERRORS

EPERM
The filesystem containing newpath does not support the creation of symbolic links.
EFAULT
oldpath or newpath points outside your accessible address space.
EACCES
Write access to the directory containing newpath is not allowed for the process's effective uid, or one of the directories in newpath did not allow search (execute) permission.
ENAMETOOLONG
oldpath or newpath was too long.
ENOENT
A directory component in newpath does not exist or is a dangling symbolic link, or oldpath is the empty string.
ENOTDIR
A component used as a directory in newpath is not, in fact, a directory.
ENOMEM
Insufficient kernel memory was available.
EROFS
newpath is on a read-only filesystem.
EEXIST
newpath already exists.
ELOOP
Too many symbolic links were encountered in resolving newpath.
ENOSPC
The device containing the file has no room for the new directory entry.
EIO
An I/O error occurred.
 

NOTES

No checking of oldpath is done.

Deleting the name referred to by a symlink will actually delete the file (unless it also has other hard links). If this behaviour is not desired, use link.  

CONFORMING TO

SVr4, SVID, POSIX, BSD 4.3. SVr4 documents additional error codes SVr4, SVID, BSD 4.3, X/OPEN. SVr4 documents additional error codes EDQUOT and ENOSYS. See open(2) re multiple files with the same name, and NFS.  

SEE ALSO

readlink(2), link(2), unlink(2), rename(2), open(2), lstat(2), ln(1)