Years ago I was taught that it was best practice to use absolute paths when creating symbolic links, unless I had a specific reason to use a relative symbolic link. I want to know if this is true or not, and why. The problem is that "best practice" questions are subjective, and I don't want to be flamed for my first post on Unix & Linux.

This is a serious *nix question that I'd like the answer to, and which I think would be helpful to other people. Is this question welcome on Unix & Linux?

2 Answers 2


Framing your question as advantages and disadvantages would be one way to make it more constructive and increase the likelihood of it being helpful.

Specifying that responses should include examples or illustrations would also assist.


I think the question should be framed as:

What is the preferred way of creating symbolic links?

I have been taught that symbolic links should be created using absolute paths. However, I am inclined towards creating them using relative paths.

[...Mention what you already know about them and some of your arguments...]

So, I would like to know what are the pros and cons of each and what is the preferred way to create them.

This would provide you answers from both the groups (Absolute vs Relative) and you would be able to judge for yourself what would be the "best practice" for your case! :-)

  • 2
    "Preference" is no less subjective than "best practice"...
    – jasonwryan
    Apr 4, 2013 at 22:29
  • @jasonwryan: I guess you are right, but my intent of framing that question was to ask its pros and cons of the two stuff - as you have put in your answer as advantages and disadvantages :-)
    – Aditya
    Apr 5, 2013 at 6:03

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