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a simple command-line utility that implements hardlinks on Mac OsX
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A simple command-line utility that implements directory hardlinks on Mac OSX

to link: hln source destination to unlink: hln -u destination


I was trying to patch a third-party library and make the files available in our code directory without having to copy the files every time I patch it.

I got the idea from the stackoverflow question here and decided to create a lib out if it that anybody can use.

A note about the the hln binary name:

The binary is named hln due to a naming conflict. It's also just easier to type and does not conflict with any other system I have checked.


  • You will need xCode command line tools installed to use make command


Using Homebrew

After installing homebrew, you can simply issue this command in your terminal and hardlink will automatically install with:

  • brew install hardlink-osx

Manually compiling

  • git clone
  • cd hardlink
  • make
  • [sudo] make install

Note: If you get the error directory /usr/local/bin does not exist, just copy hardlink app into /usr/bin instead.


To create a hard link:

  • hln source destination

To remove the link:

  • hln -u destination


Hardlink can not be created under the same directory root. If you try to hln source directory to target directory under the same root you will get an error.

operation not permitted

to avoid that you should create additonal directory level

- /directory_root/
   |-  /source_directory
   |-  /parent_directory/
         |- target_directory
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