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HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

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symlink — make symbolic link to a file


#include <unistd.h>

int symlink(const char *path1, const char *path2);


The symlink() function creates a symbolic link. Its name is the pathname pointed to by path2, which must be a pathname that does not name an existing file or symbolic link. The contents of the symbolic link are the string pointed to by path1.


Upon successful completion, symlink() returns 0. Otherwise, it returns -1 and sets errno to indicate the error.


If symlink() fails, errno is set to one of the following values:


Write permission is denied in the directory where the symbolic link is being created, or search permission is denied for a component of the path prefix of path2.


The path2 argument names an existing file or symbolic link.


path1 or path2 points outside the process's allocated address space. The reliable detection of this error is implementation-dependent.


An I/O error occurred while reading from path1, making the directory entry for path2, allocating the inode for path2, or writing out the link contents of path2.


Too many symbolic links were encountered in resolving path2.


The length of the path2 argument exceeds {PATH_MAX}, or pathname resolution of a symbolic link produced an intermediate result that exceeds {PATH_MAX}, or a pathname component is longer than {NAME_MAX}.


A component of path2 does not name an existing file or path2 is an empty string.


The directory in which the entry for the new symbolic link is being placed cannot be extended because no space is left on the file system containing the directory, or the new symbolic link cannot be created because no space is left on the file system which will contain the link, or the file system is out of file-allocation resources.


A component of the path prefix of path2 is not a directory.


The new symbolic link would reside on a read-only file system.


Like a hard link, a symbolic link allows a file to have multiple logical names. The presence of a hard link guarantees the existence of a file, even after the original name has been removed. A symbolic link provides no such assurance; in fact, the file named by the path1 argument need not exist when the link is created. A symbolic link can cross file system boundaries.

Normal permission checks are made on each component of the symbolic link pathname during its resolution.


symlink() was developed by the University of California, Berkeley.


symlink(): AES, SVID3


First released in Issue 4, Version 2.

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