hardlink(1) — Linux manual page


hardlink(1)                General Commands Manual               hardlink(1)

NAME         top

       hardlink - Consolidate duplicate files via hardlinks

SYNOPSIS         top

       hardlink [options] [directory...]

DESCRIPTION         top

       This manual page documents hardlink, a program which consolidates
       duplicate files in one or more directories using hardlinks.

       hardlink traverses one or more directories searching for duplicate
       files.  When it finds duplicate files, it uses one of them as the
       master.  It then removes all other duplicates and places a hardlink
       for each one pointing to the master file.  This allows for
       conservation of disk space where multiple directories on a single
       filesystem contain many duplicate files.

       Since hard links can only span a single filesystem, hardlink is only
       useful when all directories specified are on the same filesystem.

OPTIONS         top

       -c, --content
              Compare only the contents of the files being considered for
              consolidation.  Disregards permission, ownership and other

       -f, --force
              Force hardlinking across file systems.

       -n, --dry-run
              Do not perform the consolidation; only print what would be

       -v, --verbose
              Print summary after hardlinking. The option may be specified
              more than once. In this case (e.g., -vv) it prints every
              hardlinked file and bytes saved.

       -x, --exclude regex
              Exclude files and directories matching pattern from

              The optional pattern for excluding files and directories must
              be a PCRE2 compatible regular expression. Only the basename of
              the file or directory is checked, not its path. Excluded
              directories' contents will not be examined.

       -h, --help
              Display help text and exit.

       -V, --version
              Display version information and exit.

BUGS         top

       hardlink assumes that its target directory trees do not change from
       under it.  If a directory tree does change, this may result in
       hardlink accessing files and/or directories outside of the intended
       directory tree.  Thus, you must avoid running hardlink on potentially
       changing directory trees, and especially on directory trees under
       control of another user.

       Historically hardlink silently excluded any names beginning with
       ".in.", as well as any names beginning with "." followed by exactly 6
       other characters. That prior behavior can be achieved by specifying
       -x '^(\.in\.|\.[^.]{6}$)'

AUTHORS         top

       hardlink was written by Jakub Jelinek <jakub@redhat.com> and later
       modified by Ruediger Meier <ruediger.meier@ga-group.nl> and Karel Zak
       <kzak@redhat.com> for util-linux.

       Man page written by Brian Long and later updated by Jindrich Novy

AVAILABILITY         top

       The hardlink command is part of the util-linux package and is
       available from https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/util-linux/.

COLOPHON         top

       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
       2020-11-01.  (At that time, the date of the most recent commit that
       was found in the repository was 2020-10-21.)  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