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Symbolic link

A symbolic link is an entry in a Unix (or Unix-like) filesystem that allows a directory entry to refer to another directory entry.

Using the 'ls' command, which is standard on these systems, a symbolically linked filed might look something like this:

lrwxrwxrwx 1 jbailey jbailey 4 2003-02-07 16:49 link -> file

The 'l' in the first column is a hint that this file is a symbolic link. The information at the furthest right indicates that this file is called 'link', and that when you access it, you will see the contents of 'file'.

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