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int link(const char *oldpath, const char *newpath);
#include <fcntl.h> /* Definition of AT_* constants */
int linkat(int olddirfd, const char *oldpath,
int newdirfd, const char *newpath, int flags);
Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):
Since glibc 2.10:
_XOPEN_SOURCE >= 700 || _POSIX_C_SOURCE >= 200809L
Before glibc 2.10:
link() creates a new link (also known as a hard link) to an existing
If newpath exists it will not be overwritten.
This new name may be used exactly as the old one for any operation;
both names refer to the same file (and so have the same permissions and
ownership) and it is impossible to tell which name was the "original".
The linkat() system call operates in exactly the same way as link(),
except for the differences described here.
If the pathname given in oldpath is relative, then it is interpreted
relative to the directory referred to by the file descriptor olddirfd
(rather than relative to the current working directory of the calling
process, as is done by link() for a relative pathname).
If oldpath is relative and olddirfd is the special value AT_FDCWD, then
oldpath is interpreted relative to the current working directory of the
calling process (like link()).
If oldpath is absolute, then olddirfd is ignored.
The interpretation of newpath is as for oldpath, except that a relative
pathname is interpreted relative to the directory referred to by the
file descriptor newdirfd.
The following values can be bitwise ORed in flags:
AT_EMPTY_PATH (since Linux 2.6.39)
If oldpath is an empty string, create a link to the file refer-
Before kernel 2.6.18, the flags argument was unused, and had to be
specified as 0.
See openat(2) for an explanation of the need for linkat().
On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is
EACCES Write access to the directory containing newpath is denied, or
search permission is denied for one of the directories in the
path prefix of oldpath or newpath. (See also path_resolu-
EDQUOT The user's quota of disk blocks on the filesystem has been
EEXIST newpath already exists.
EFAULT oldpath or newpath points outside your accessible address space.
EIO An I/O error occurred.
ELOOP Too many symbolic links were encountered in resolving oldpath or
EMLINK The file referred to by oldpath already has the maximum number
of links to it.
oldpath or newpath was too long.
ENOENT A directory component in oldpath or newpath does not exist or is
a dangling symbolic link.
ENOMEM Insufficient kernel memory was available.
ENOSPC The device containing the file has no room for the new directory
A component used as a directory in oldpath or newpath is not, in
fact, a directory.
EPERM oldpath is a directory.
EPERM The filesystem containing oldpath and newpath does not support
the creation of hard links.
EPERM (since Linux 3.6)
EINVAL An invalid flag value was specified in flags.
ENOENT AT_EMPTY_PATH was specified in flags, but the caller did not
have the CAP_DAC_READ_SEARCH capability.
ENOENT An attempt was made to link to the /proc/self/fd/NN file corre-
sponding to a file descriptor created with
open(path, O_TMPFILE | O_EXCL, mode);
oldpath is relative and olddirfd is a file descriptor referring
to a file other than a directory; or similar for newpath and
EPERM AT_EMPTY_PATH was specified in flags, oldpath is an empty
string, and olddirfd refers to a directory.
linkat() was added to Linux in kernel 2.6.16; library support was added
to glibc in version 2.4.
link(): SVr4, 4.3BSD, POSIX.1-2001 (but see NOTES), POSIX.1-2008.
Hard links, as created by link(), cannot span filesystems. Use sym-
link(2) if this is required.
POSIX.1-2001 says that link() should dereference oldpath if it is a
symbolic link. However, since kernel 2.0, Linux does not do so: if
oldpath is a symbolic link, then newpath is created as a (hard) link to
the same symbolic link file (i.e., newpath becomes a symbolic link to
the same file that oldpath refers to). Some other implementations
behave in the same manner as Linux. POSIX.1-2008 changes the specifi-
cation of link(), making it implementation-dependent whether or not
oldpath is dereferenced if it is a symbolic link. For precise control
over the treatment of symbolic links when creating a link, use
On NFS filesystems, the return code may be wrong in case the NFS server
performs the link creation and dies before it can say so. Use stat(2)
to find out if the link got created.
ln(1), open(2), rename(2), stat(2), symlink(2), unlink(2), path_resolu-