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Is there a feature on OS X that does the same as mklink under Windows 7? It can create symbolic links and hard links.

I have just read about this tool to have Dropbox sync an application folder by combining it with mklink on Windows 7, using a hard link:

How can I achieve this on OS X?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Open /Applications/Utilities/ and run ln for a short description, and man ln for documentation.


ln existing.txt new.txt

For folders, create a symbolic link using ln -s:

ln -s existing new

As per @Scott's comment, these symbolic links work with Dropbox on OS X. Success!

Hardlinks on folders are possible, but difficult and insanely dangerous if you mess it up (they don't like recursion).

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I don't know either, but the Windows example uses hard links, not symbolic links. OS X supports hard linked folders since Time Machine has been introduced. Never used it myself though. – Arjan Jan 11 '11 at 16:48
@Arjan Thanks for the edit to the question, I just saw it and added to my reply. – Daniel Beck Jan 11 '11 at 16:49
Use a symlink to sync folders outside your Dropbox on Mac OS X (and Linux for that matter). It works fine, and you avoid the whole can of worms that hard linking directories is. See – Scott Jan 11 '11 at 16:59
@Scott Thanks, updated – Daniel Beck Jan 11 '11 at 17:00
Thanks guys, that's exactly what I was looking for! – Cilvic Jan 12 '11 at 7:50

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