Create shortcuts in Linux (symbolic links)

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.

Create a shortcut on a Unix-like operating system using a symlink.

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.

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

  1. 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,

  2. @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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

    • 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.

    • 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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