If I have a specific file in a UNIX filesystem, is there a way to use bash to find all links to that file, both symbolic and hard? If I need different commands for each, what are they?

2 Answers 2


Try this with GNU find:

find /start/dir -L -samefile /file/to/check -exec ls -li {} \;

Example output:

1234704 -rw-r--r-- 2 user1 user1 1134 2009-09-11 11:12 ./x1
1234704 -rw-r--r-- 2 user1 user1 1134 2009-09-11 11:12 ./x2
1234983 lrwxrwxrwx 1 user1 user1 2 2009-10-31 16:56 ./testx -> x1
2345059 lrwxrwxrwx 1 user2 user2 2 2010-01-03 16:17 ./x3 -> x1

You could use -ls instead of -exec but it will show the inode and other information of the target file instead of the individual files.

  • This output is showing hard and sym links? Sym links indicated by -> arrow?
    – aaaidan
    Mar 16, 2010 at 2:13
  • @aaaidan: Yes, that's correct. The inode number of x1 and x2 are the same indicating that they are hard links. The arrow indicates a symlink. Using -L and -samefile causes both to be listed. If you omit -L then symbolic links are not followed (see man find). Mar 16, 2010 at 2:45

If you don't have GNU Find you can do this:

find / -inum "$(ls -i /file/to/check | cut -d ' ' -f 1)"

But it won't work for symbolic links.


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