Soft Link Vs Hard Link in Solaris & AIX Unix OS – Difference and Features

Hard Links
  • Hard links have actual content
  • Hard link is the replica of the original file
  • All hard links have the same inode number
  • ls –l command output gives all links with link columns
  • If you remove any hard link, it will reduces the link count and this will not affect the other links.
Soft Links (Symbolic Links)
  • Soft link is a pointer to the original file. It doent contains the original content.
  • Soft links are just short cuts to the actual files.
  • Soft links having the different inode number.
  • ls –l command output gives all links with second column value 1 and the links point to the original file.
  • If you remove the soft link it doesn’t affect anything but the removal of original file makes the link becomes ‘dangling’ link which points to nonexistent file.
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