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CreateSymbolicLink function

Creates a symbolic link.

To perform this operation as a transacted operation, use the CreateSymbolicLinkTransacted function.

Syntax


BOOLEAN WINAPI CreateSymbolicLink(
  _In_  LPTSTR lpSymlinkFileName,
  _In_  LPTSTR lpTargetFileName,
  _In_  DWORD dwFlags
);

Parameters

lpSymlinkFileName [in]

The symbolic link to be created.

lpTargetFileName [in]

The name of the target for the symbolic link to be created.

If lpTargetFileName has a device name associated with it, the link is treated as an absolute link; otherwise, the link is treated as a relative link.

dwFlags [in]

Indicates whether the link target, lpTargetFileName, is a directory.

ValueMeaning
0x0

The link target is a file.

SYMBOLIC_LINK_FLAG_DIRECTORY
0x1

The link target is a directory.

 

Return value

If the function succeeds, the return value is nonzero.

If the function fails, the return value is zero. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.

Remarks

Symbolic links can either be absolute or relative links. Absolute links are links that specify each portion of the path name; relative links are determined relative to where relative–link specifiers are in a specified path. Relative links are specified using the following conventions:

  • Dot (. and ..) conventions—for example, "..\" resolves the path relative to the parent directory.
  • Names with no slashes (\)—for example, "tmp" resolves the path relative to the current directory.
  • Root relative—for example, "\Windows\System32" resolves to "current drive:\Windows\System32".
  • Current working directory–relative—for example, if the current working directory is C:\Windows\System32, "C:File.txt" resolves to "C:\Windows\System32\File.txt".

    Note  If you specify a current working directory–relative link, it is created as an absolute link, due to the way the current working directory is processed based on the user and the thread.

To remove a symbolic link, delete the file (using DeleteFile or similar APIs) or remove the directory (using RemoveDirectory or similar APIs) depending on what type of symbolic link is used.

In Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, this function is supported by the following technologies.

TechnologySupported

Server Message Block (SMB) 3.0 protocol

Yes

SMB 3.0 Transparent Failover (TFO)

Yes

SMB 3.0 with Scale-out File Shares (SO)

No

Cluster Shared Volume File System (CsvFS)

No

Resilient File System (ReFS)

Yes

 

CsvFs does not support soft link or any other reparse points.

Requirements

Minimum supported client

Windows Vista [desktop apps only]

Minimum supported server

Windows Server 2008 [desktop apps only]

Header

WinBase.h (include Windows.h)

Library

Kernel32.lib

DLL

Kernel32.dll

Unicode and ANSI names

CreateSymbolicLinkW (Unicode) and CreateSymbolicLinkA (ANSI)

See also

CreateSymbolicLinkTransacted
File Management Functions
Symbolic Links

 

 

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