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If I have a directory /foo with a few files in it, how do I symlink each entry in /foo into /bar/?

For instance, if /foo has the files a, b and c, I want to create three symlinks:

  • /bar/a -> /foo/a
  • /bar/b -> /foo/b
  • /bar/c -> /foo/c
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Are you sure you don't just want to symlink bar to foo? – Rich Bradshaw Feb 11 '11 at 17:18
The actual application of this is that I installed a program and would like to move its executables to a standard folder in my $PATH rather than add the installed one to the path. – Steven Xu Feb 11 '11 at 17:21
It seems like it would be a better idea to just configure it with --prefix=. – Hello71 Feb 12 '11 at 18:15
up vote 11 down vote accepted

You can use (GNU) cp with the --symbolic-link option:

prompt$ mkdir foo
prompt$ cd foo
prompt$ touch a b c
prompt$ mkdir ../bar
prompt$ cd ../bar
prompt$ cp --symbolic-link ../foo/* .
prompt$ ls -l
total 0
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 hlovdal hlovdal 8 Jun 12 16:24 a -> ../foo/a
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 hlovdal hlovdal 8 Jun 12 16:24 b -> ../foo/b
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 hlovdal hlovdal 8 Jun 12 16:24 c -> ../foo/c
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This seems to be exactly the solution. Awesome! – Steven Xu Jun 12 '11 at 16:07

Give this a try:

ln -s /foo/* /bar

The source directory, as specified in the question, is /foo. Note that it must be fully specified (i.e. starting at the root directory), so other examples would look like this:

ln -s /some/dir/with/baz/* destdir
ln -s /dir/to/link/from/* /dir/to/link/to
ln -s $PWD/stuff/* more/stuff
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does this even work? – root.ctrlc Aug 3 '15 at 18:06
@root.ctrlc: You have to specify the full path of the source (which is / in my original answer). I'll add a clarification. – Dennis Williamson Aug 3 '15 at 18:14
I think if you want to copy everything as symlink with one command only, you have to use cp -s like @hlovdal answer, cp -rs /var/www/folder/ . copies every subfolders files as symlink, not like ln -s /var/www/folder/ . who duplicated subfolders files on my computer. – baptx Nov 28 '15 at 18:54

Something like this?

cd /foo
for f in *; do ln -s $PWD/$f /bar; done
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