Definition: Soft Links
: To demonstrate a soft link, try the following: touch myfile; ln -s myfile myfile2; ls -al; cat ) myfile; a few lines of text; ^D; cat myfile; cat myfile2; Notice that the ls -al listing has the letter l on the far left next to myfile2, and the usual - next to myfile. This indicates that the file is a soft link (also known as a symbolic link or symlink) to some other file. A symbolic link contains no data of its own, only a reference to another file. It can even contain a reference to a directory. In either case, programs operating on the link will actually see the file or directory it points to. One of the common uses of symbolic links is to make mounted (see Section 19.4) file systems accessible from a different directory. For instance, you may have a large directory that has to be split over several physical disks. For clarity, you can mount the disks as /disk1, /disk2, etc., and then link the various subdirectories in a way that makes efficient use of the space you have. Another example is the linking of /dev/cdrom to, say, /dev/hdc so that programs accessing the device file /dev/cdrom (see Chapter 18) actually access the correct IDE drive.
Source: Rute-Users-Guide / Linux Dictionary V 0.16
Author: Binh Nguyen linuxfilesystem(at)yahoo(dot)com(dot)au
> Linux/Unix/Computing Glossary