How to create symbolic link mac

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  1. What Are Aliases, Symbolic Links, and Hard Links on a Mac?
  2. macos - How can I create a symbolic link in Terminal? - Ask Different
  3. Symbolic Links (or symlinks)

These files simply contain the path of the target file or directory stored as text. If you move the target file, the symlink will break because it still points to the original location in the link. However, symlinks work at a low-level such that almost all applications and OS features will follow them to the target. The User folder in OS X contains several important sub-folders for different types of content.

I then used symlinks to replace some of the default sub-folders with pointers to a location on the secondary hard drive. The preferences files are generally small, but are read each time an application launches.


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The data files could be a different story. My Mail folder is about 10GB, for example. Steam stores game files down inside the Library as well.

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What Are Aliases, Symbolic Links, and Hard Links on a Mac?

This transparency allows shortcut links to be used for many different purposes. One of the most common is to conveniently access a file or folder that is buried deep in the file system. For example, you may have created an accounting folder in your Documents folder for storing bank statements and other financial information.

If you use this folder often, you can create an alias to it and position it on the desktop. Instead of using the Finder to navigate through multiple folder levels to access the accounting folder, you can click on its desktop alias. The alias takes you right to the folder and its files, short-circuiting a long navigation process. Another common use for file system shortcuts is to use the same data in multiple locations, without having to either duplicate the data or keep the data synced.

Returning to the accounting folder example, you may have an application that you use to track stock market picks, and the app needs to store its data files in some predefined folder. Instead of copying the accounting folder to a second location and worrying about keeping the two folders in sync, you can create an alias or a symbolic link, so that the stock trading app sees the data in its dedicated folder but accesses the data that's stored in your accounting folder.

All three types of shortcuts are methods of accessing an object in your Mac's file system from other than its original location. Each type of shortcut has unique features that are better suited for some uses than others. The alias is the oldest shortcut for the Mac; its roots go all the way back to System 7.

It is also the most popular.

Create Symbolic Link To Link NAS To C Drive

Most Mac users know how to create aliases and how to use them. Aliases are created and managed at the Finder level, which means that if you're using Terminal or a non-Mac application, such as many UNIX apps and utilities, an alias won't work. OS X sees aliases as small data files, which they are, but it doesn't know how to interpret the information they contain. This may seem to be a drawback, but aliases are the most powerful of the three types of shortcuts.

For Mac users and apps, aliases are also the most versatile of the shortcuts. When you create an alias for an object, the system creates a small data file that includes the current path to the object, as well as the object's inode name. Each object's inode name is a long string of numbers, independent of the name you give the object, and guaranteed to be unique to any volume or drive your Mac uses.

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:. This technique can be used to move your iTunes or other hard-coded library to an external drive:. And before you can make that symlink the original Downloads folder must be removed, like so: No, follow the instructions or try it out yourself with a sample folder and target. For example; http: No, Hans is correct.

macos - How can I create a symbolic link in Terminal? - Ask Different

The example creates an slink inside the downloads folder, not on the alternate volume. Specifically my root volume name.


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  • Create Symbolic Links With the ln Command?
  • Use these shortcuts for quick access to files and folders;

But when OS X performs a restart, the link is removed from the Volumes folder. Is there a way to maintain this link in the Volumes across restarts? The problem is that you are putting the symlink in the Volumes folder, which is a special folder used by the system to mount filesystems e.

Symbolic Links (or symlinks)

Asking because I moved some key folders to an external drive, and the application looking for stuff seems to be finding SOME not ALL of the redirected files. Name required. Mail will not be published required. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction without explicit permission is prohibited. Enter your email address below: