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 feature_test_macros(7)
_XOPEN_SOURCE >= 500 ||
_POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200112L
|| /* Glibc versions <= 2.19: */ _BSD_SOURCE
- Since glibc 2.10:
- _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L
- Before glibc 2.10:
() creates a symbolic link named linkpath
the string target
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
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 (S_ISVTX
exists, it will not
() system call operates in exactly the same way as
(), except for the differences described here.
If the pathname given in linkpath
is relative, then it is interpreted
relative to the directory referred to by the file descriptor newdirfd
(rather than relative to the current working directory of the calling process,
as is done by symlink
() for a relative pathname).
is relative and newdirfd
is the special value
, then linkpath
is interpreted relative to the current
working directory of the calling process (like symlink
is absolute, then newdirfd
On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno
- Write access to the directory containing linkpath is
denied, or one of the directories in the path prefix of linkpath
did not allow search permission. (See also
- The user's quota of resources on the filesystem has been
exhausted. The resources could be inodes or disk blocks, depending on the
- linkpath already exists.
- 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 linkpath does not exist or
is a dangling symbolic link, or target or linkpath is an
- Insufficient kernel memory was available.
- The device containing the file has no room for the new
- A component used as a directory in linkpath is not,
in fact, a directory.
- The filesystem containing linkpath does not support
the creation of symbolic links.
- linkpath is on a read-only filesystem.
The following additional errors can occur for symlinkat
- newdirfd is not a valid file descriptor.
- linkpath is a relative pathname and newdirfd
refers to a directory that has been deleted.
- linkpath is relative and newdirfd 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 target
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 symlinkat
() is unavailable, the glibc wrapper
function falls back to the use of symlink
(). When linkpath
relative pathname, glibc constructs a pathname based on the symbolic link in
that corresponds to the newdirfd
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