Symbolic Links in Windows

While working with a couple of colleagues, they were surprised when I created some symbolic links in Windows XP. Symlinks are quite common and useful in the *nix world, but few people realize that Windows has the same capability through NTFS junctions. Junctions are not the same as shortcuts.

I’ll show just how easy it is to download a utility to get started and the command-line syntax.

Prerequisite

  • Windows 2000 or later
  • NTFS formatted drive(s)

Installation

  • Download Junction and simply unzip it to a folder. To make life simpler, either add the new folder to your system path or unzip it into your Windows directory.

Using Junction

To create a junction c:ant for “c:apache-ant-1.6.5”, type the following on the command line:

junction C:ant C:apache-ant-1.6.5

To delete a junction, use the –d switch:

junction -d C:ant

Here’s how the “C:ant” junction looks from DOS:
Here’s how the same “C:ant” junction looks from Windows Explorer:

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