Section: Linux Programmer's Manual (2)
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symlink, symlinkat - make a new name for a file
int symlink(const char *target, const char *linkpath);
#include <fcntl.h> /* Definition of AT_* constants */
int symlinkat(const char *target, int newdirfd, const char *linkpath);
Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see
_BSD_SOURCE || _XOPEN_SOURCE >= 500 ||
_XOPEN_SOURCE && _XOPEN_SOURCE_EXTENDED || _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200112L
- Since glibc 2.10:
_XOPEN_SOURCE >= 700 || _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L
- Before glibc 2.10:
creates a symbolic link named
which contains the string
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
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
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
exists, it will
system call operates in exactly the same way as
except for the differences described here.
If the pathname given in
is relative, then it is interpreted relative to the directory
referred to by the file descriptor
(rather than relative to the current working directory of
the calling process, as is done by
for a relative pathname).
is relative and
is the special value
is interpreted relative to the current working
directory of the calling process (like
is absolute, then
On success, zero is returned.
On error, -1 is returned, and
is set appropriately.
Write access to the directory containing
is denied, or one of the directories in the path prefix of
did not allow search permission.
The user's quota of resources on the filesystem has been exhausted.
The resources could be inodes or disk blocks, depending on the filesystem
target or linkpath points outside your accessible address space.
An I/O error occurred.
Too many symbolic links were encountered in resolving
target or linkpath was too long.
A directory component in
does not exist or is a dangling symbolic link, or
is the empty string.
Insufficient kernel memory was available.
The device containing the file has no room for the new directory
A component used as a directory in
is not, in fact, a directory.
The filesystem containing
does not support the creation of symbolic links.
is on a read-only filesystem.
The following additional errors can occur for
is not a valid file descriptor.
is a relative pathname and
refers to a directory that has been deleted.
is relative and
is a file descriptor referring to a file other than a directory.
was added to Linux in kernel 2.6.16;
library support was added to glibc in version 2.4.
SVr4, 4.3BSD, POSIX.1-2001, POSIX.1-2008.
No checking of
Deleting the name referred to by a symbolic link will actually delete the
file (unless it also has other hard links).
If this behavior is not desired, use
On older kernels where
is unavailable, the glibc wrapper function falls back to the use of
is a relative pathname,
glibc constructs a pathname based on the symbolic link in
that corresponds to the
This page is part of release 3.74 of the Linux
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- RETURN VALUE
- CONFORMING TO
- Glibc notes
- SEE ALSO