Let's try a few experiments, and look at a few things.
In a terminal emulator, such as Terminal.app in /Applications/Utilities, go to your home directory (
cd ~) and create a directory (
Make sure you go in the directory we just created (
After that, make a file; a simple text file will do:
echo "This is a simple text file" > originalfile.txt
Now, try creating a hard link, like this:
/usr/bin/ln originalfile.txt hardlink.txt
Then, try creating a symbolic link, like this:
/usr/bin/ln -s originalfile.txt symboliclink.txt
Now, open the directory in Finder with
open . and make an alias.
In the terminal emulator you opened before, another
ls should get us this:
Testarossa:test tonyw$ ls -l@
-rw-r--r-- 2 tonyw staff 19 25 Jan 15:51 file.txt
-rw-r--r--@ 1 tonyw staff 426048 25 Jan 15:52 file.txt alias
-rw-r--r-- 2 tonyw staff 19 25 Jan 15:51 hard.txt
lrwxr-xr-x 1 tonyw staff 8 25 Jan 15:53 symbolic.txt -> file.txt
The Finder GUI should result in this, too:
Please note that the Finder GUI displays a symbolic link as an alias.
A symbolic link is not the same thing as an alias. A real alias has extended attributes than a symbolic link.
In the Finder GUI, there is no way of telling a hard link is anything but a file.
For any symbolic links, there is an 'l' at the left hand end of the attributes, and the
ls command tells us where it points.
When you try this, exactly what do you get?