In Windows, the mklink command allows users to create hard links, which are similar to symbolic links but act more like a traditional file system hard link. They are also known as directory junctions. A hard link is similar to a shortcut, except that it does not contain a target path. Instead, it points directly to the file it references. Hard links are used to create multiple references to a single file, allowing multiple programs to access a single file without needing to store multiple copies.
When running the mklink command, the syntax is as follows:
mkLINK [LinkType] [LinkName] [LinkTarget]
The LinkType argument can be either “/h” for a hard link, or “/j” for a directory junction. The LinkName argument is the name of the link to be created, and the LinkTarget argument is the path to the target file or directory.
For example, to create a hard link named “myLink” that points to the file “C:\\myFile.txt”, the command would be as follows:
MKLINK /h myLink C:\\myFile.txt
In this case, “myLink” is the name of the hard link, and “C:\\myFile.txt” is the path to the target file.
Once created, the hard link can be accessed like a regular file. It will appear in Windows Explorer, and can be opened and manipulated like any other file. Any changes made to the file through the hard link will be reflected in the original file.
Hard links can also be used to create multiple references to a single directory. This allows multiple programs to access the same directory without needing to create multiple copies.
To create a directory junction, the syntax is the same as for creating a hard link, except that the LinkType argument is “/j” instead of “/h”. For example, to create a directory junction named “myDir” that points to the directory “C:\\myDir”, the command would be as follows:
MKLINK /j myDir C:\\myDir
Once created, the directory junction can be accessed like a regular directory. Any changes made to the directory through the junction will be reflected in the original directory.
It is important to note that hard links and directory junctions cannot span across different volumes. That is, if a hard link or directory junction is created on one volume, the target of the link must also be on that same volume.
In summary, the mklink command can be used to create hard links and directory junctions in Windows. These links allow multiple programs to access a single file or directory, without needing to store multiple copies. It is important to note, however, that hard links and directory junctions cannot span across different volumes.