hardlink(1) — Linux manual page


HARDLINK(1)                   User Commands                  HARDLINK(1)

NAME         top

       hardlink - link multiple copies of a file

SYNOPSIS         top

       hardlink [options] [directory|file]...

DESCRIPTION         top

       hardlink is a tool which replaces copies of a file with
       hardlinks, therefore saving space.

OPTIONS         top

       -h, --help
           print quick usage details to the screen.

       -v, --verbose
           More verbose output. If specified once, every hardlinked file
           is displayed, if specified twice, it also shows every

       -q, --quiet
           Quiet mode, don’t print anything.

       -n, --dry-run
           Do not act, just print what would happen.

       -f, --respect-name
           Only try to link files with the same (basename). It’s
           strongly recommended to use long options rather than -f which
           is interpreted in a different way by others hardlink

       -p, --ignore-mode
           Link/compare files even if their mode is different. This may
           be a bit unpredictable.

       -o, --ignore-owner
           Link/compare files even if their owner (user and group) is
           different. It is not predictable.

       -t, --ignore-time
           Link/compare files even if their time of modification is
           different. You almost always want this.

       -X, --respect-xattrs
           Only try to link files with the same extended attributes.

       -m, --maximize
           Among equal files, keep the file with the highest link count.

       -M, --minimize
           Among equal files, keep the file with the lowest link count.

       -O, --keep-oldest
           Among equal files, keep the oldest file (least recent
           modification time). By default, the newest file is kept. If
           --maximize or --minimize is specified, the link count has a
           higher precedence than the time of modification.

       -x, --exclude regex
           A regular expression which excludes files from being compared
           and linked.

       -i, --include regex
           A regular expression to include files. If the option
           --exclude has been given, this option re-includes files which
           would otherwise be excluded. If the option is used without
           --exclude, only files matched by the pattern are included.

       -s, --minimum-size size
           The minimum size to consider. By default this is 1, so empty
           files will not be linked. The size argument may be followed
           by the multiplicative suffixes KiB (=1024), MiB (=1024*1024),
           and so on for GiB, TiB, PiB, EiB, ZiB and YiB (the "iB" is
           optional, e.g., "K" has the same meaning as "KiB").

ARGUMENTS         top

       hardlink takes one or more directories which will be searched for
       files to be linked.

BUGS         top

       The original hardlink implementation uses the option -f to force
       hardlinks creation between filesystem. This very rarely usable
       feature is no more supported by the current hardlink.

       hardlink assumes that the trees it operates on do not change
       during operation. If a tree does change, the result is undefined
       and potentially dangerous. For example, if a regular file is
       replaced by a device, hardlink may start reading from the device.
       If a component of a path is replaced by a symbolic link or file
       permissions change, security may be compromised. Do not run
       hardlink on a changing tree or on a tree controlled by another

AUTHOR         top

       There are multiple hardlink implementations. The very first
       implementation is from Jakub Jelinek for Fedora distribution,
       this implementation has been used in util-linux between versions
       v2.34 to v2.36. The current implementations is based on Debian
       version from Julian Andres Klode.

REPORTING BUGS         top

       For bug reports, use the issue tracker at

AVAILABILITY         top

       The hardlink command is part of the util-linux package which can
       be downloaded from Linux Kernel Archive
       <https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/util-linux/>. This page
       is part of the util-linux (a random collection of Linux
       utilities) project. Information about the project can be found at
       ⟨https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/util-linux/⟩. If you have
       a bug report for this manual page, send it to
       util-linux@vger.kernel.org. This page was obtained from the
       project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/utils/util-linux/util-linux.git⟩ on
       2021-08-27. (At that time, the date of the most recent commit
       that was found in the repository was 2021-08-24.) If you discover
       any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you
       believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page,
       or you have corrections or improvements to the information in
       this COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page),
       send a mail to man-pages@man7.org

util-linux 2.37.85-637cc       2021-04-02                    HARDLINK(1)