O'Reilly logo

A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, Third Edition by Mark G. Sobell

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Dereferencing Symbolic Links

A filename points at a file. A symbolic link is a file whose name refers to another file (a target file) without pointing directly at the target file: It is a reference to the target file. See page 112 for more information on symbolic links.

To dereference a symbolic link means to follow the link to the target file rather than work with the link itself. When you dereference a symbolic link, you end up with a pointer to the file (the filename of the target file). The term no-dereference is a double negative: It means reference. To no-dereference a symbolic link means to work with the link itself (do not dereference the symbolic link).

Many utilities have dereference and no-dereference options, usually invoked by the ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required