How to create symbolic links

Occasionally you will need to make a link to a file or directory in Linux. To create a symbolic link you will need to use the ln command, which will follow the form of;

ln -s <target> <link name>

Example: Assume you frequently use gnome-calculator and decide you want a link on your desktop so you can quickly start that application in the future. To accomplish this with a symbolic link you could do the following;

ln -s /usr/bin/gnome-calculator ~/Desktop/calculator

You can also update an old symbolic link by overwriting the link using the following command.

ln -sf /usr/bin/gnome-calculator ~/Desktop/calculator

or when linking to directories you will need to include an n option

ln -sfn /mydir/ linkname


Quick Tip: Local Port Forwarding

Recently I needed to learn how to access a http resource from work from my home computer. Being relatively new to ssh, I was completely unaware I could forward a port and access the required resource form my home computer.

If you can ssh into your work server, you can perform local port forwarding using the following ssh command.


ssh <username>@<hostname> -L <localport>:<host>:<hostport>


ssh -L 8080:localhost:8057

The above example, forwards localhost:8057 from my work server’s to my home computer’s localhost:8080, giving me local access to a resource previously not accessible.

To learn more about local and remote port forwarding check out this website.