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I use both Mac OS X an Ubuntu on two different, synced computers. On my Mac I often use aliases (not in the bash sense, in the Command-L sense) to link to files on my computer. Is there a way to do this compatibly with Ubuntu?

Very specifically, I would like some way (outside of a terminal) to make a link to another file (that I can click on) which works in Mac OS X and Ubuntu, that I can make in either system.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Use the bash sense (ln -s). You create a unix symbolic link, handled as such in Ubuntu and displayed in Finder as a Mac alias.

You will have to use Terminal though.

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You don't need the terminal: in gnome, Alt+drag/drop will give you a menu, with the possibility to "Link here", which will create a symbolic link. – Peltier Sep 8 '09 at 13:13
@Peltier - On the Mac side you would need to use the Terminal – Chealion Sep 8 '09 at 16:21
Of note, a symbolic link will not be followed in the Finder unless you have specified the full path. eg. ln -s ~/Dropbox/CoolFiles /Users/Chealion/Documents/CoolFiles – Chealion Sep 8 '09 at 16:22

Finder creates aliases, "ln -s" creates symbolic links; this are different concepts (for example if the original is moved the alias will follow but the symbolic link does not.

However there are ways to create a symbolic link via the Finder, too. One would be an Apple Script (, another would be a tool called SymbolicLinker (htttp://

I haven't tested these solutions myself, so be careful and check for yourself.

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In Ubuntu, start dragging something from the destination, hold Alt, drop it on the destination. A menu comes up, choose link. This will make a symbolic link (just like ln -s would). These are slightly different from Aliases (ext3 lacks the feature that allows OSX's aliases to follow moved files, for example) but should do what you want.

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