Symlinks (was Re: [OS X TeX] Fwd: Unwanted files have which extensions?)

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at
Wed Aug 18 20:18:43 EDT 2004

Le 19 août 04, à 01:53, Stefan Walsen a écrit :

> Bruno Voisin wrote [with typo edited]:
>> I've never got the syntax of ln to work exactly as I wanted it to, 
>> for  example specifying the name of the symlink to be different from 
>> the name of the original file (or directory). [...]
>> Maybe some Unix-knowledgeable people on this list would have more  
>> helpful indications on the precise syntax of ln?
> It's quite simple, really:
> You just supply the name you want the symlink to have as a second 
> argument to ln.
>   ln -s <original> <link>
> will give you a symlink called <link> pointing to the <original>.
> <original> can be an absolute (beginning with "/") or relative 
> pathname, and <original>, the "link target", does not need to exist.
> If an existing directory is given as <link>, a symlink with the name 
> of the original will be created in the given directory.

That's where I see a problem: I expected to be able, for a directory as 
well as for a file, to create, by using the above syntax, a symlink 
with name different from that of the original directory. Alas, it seems 
that's not possible.

By the way, is it <link> or <original> that you meant above, in "If an 
existing directory is given as a <link>?

More explicitly, because I've the impression my explanations above are 
a little bit obscure (I'm working very long days currently, thus I'm 
sleep-deprived and a bit phased out): I was expecting to be able to use 
the syntax "ln -s <original> <link>" to be able to create, in the 
current directory, a symlink of name <link> to the directory <original> 
(which may be an absolute or relative path if needed); however, I'm 
under the impression that this syntax, which works for files, doesn't 
work for directories, and that for a directory all I can use is "ln -s 
<original>" to create, in the current directory, a symlink, of name 
<original> (with all possible "/" in original omitted), to the 
directory <original>. Or maybe it's needed to add or remove a "/" at 
the end of the name of a directory, to make ln understand it's a 

Bruno Voisin
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