Windows users are used to be able to create shortcuts to have fast access to their files and folders. This is is especially useful when these are buried deep in their system. This feature isn't as obvious on most Linux systems as it is on Windows.

Shortcuts are made using symbolic links on Linux and Unix like operating systems.

Create Symlink in Linux

Terminal way (the link will appear in the folder the terminal points to):

ln -s /folderorfile/link/will/point/to /name/of/the/link

Desktop way:

To create a symlink without a terminal, just hold Shift+Ctrl and drag the file or folder you want to link to to the location where you want the shortcut. This method may not work with all desktop managers.

Create shortcuts in Linux (symbolic links)
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9 thoughts on “Create shortcuts in Linux (symbolic links)

  • September 23, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Hi there,

    Can anybody tell me how to map a key to open my terminal in linux mint 17?
    I have deepin terminal installed and I would like to map it to the F12 Key to open and minimize.

    Thanks in advance,

  • January 10, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    @Cristian – from Desktop, click Menu -> Preferences -> Keyboard.
    New window will pop up, select “Keyboard shortcuts” tab, then choose “Launchers” category.
    On right side, scroll down to “Launch terminal” shortcut, select it, then slowly click twice on command below under “Keyboard bindings” title (default is Ctrl + Alt + t). Text will change to “Pick an accelerator”.
    At this point, press your desired shortcut, and it will be automagically saved, and can be used from now on.

    • March 20, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      I like this on my own it can help me to succuses and i want to say keep on doing it

  • March 31, 2015 at 5:14 am

    Dear CSch,

    Excelent post, very useful indeed, precisely what I was looking for.

    (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Gnome Desktop)

  • March 2, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    I have switched from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and back to Windows 7 and now to Linux Mint…. and I like what I have… but I could not figure out how to make a “short cut” like I had in windows…. this was just the ticket. Big Thank You!

  • April 15, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Thanks. I looked for this for hours. Could not figure it out. The terminal method — which should have been simple — I just could not get it to work. I knew I had done it before in my desktop, but couldn’t remember how.

    Many Thanks.

  • September 4, 2016 at 2:07 am

    Hi. I’ve a laptop with a dead cmos battery and I need to update the time everytime I turn it on.

    Is there a way to make a shortcut so it will excecute ntpdate -s …. on the terminal whenever clicked?

    • October 5, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Why not just buy a new cmos battery? They’re really cheap (under $3). If not, type the command to a `` file, and put that on your Desktop.

    • March 8, 2017 at 12:42 am

      If you edit the file “~/.bash_profile” and add the command you need to execute on every startup to the bottom of the file and save. Linux uses this file whenever your user profile logs on and uses it to load variables and execute startup routines. This method works for both GUI and CLI modes.


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