A symbolic link contains no data of its own, only a reference to another file.
It can even contain a reference to a directory.
It does not take up space and most programs will be "fooled" into believing they have actual access.
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 20 2009-02-19 13:00 link-to-webpages -> /trac-root/webpages/
SOFT LINK ln -s Source link-to-Source
A Symbolic link can have permissions, be copied or moved just like a file (or directory). Note that the above is a "relative path" so
ln -s SourceDirectory link-to-SourceDirectory
mv link-to-SourceDirectory /folder/anotherfolder
A symbolic link sometimes should have a universal path ln -s /folder/SourceDirectory link-to-SourceDirectory
chown -h ubuntu:ubuntu symlink_name # modify the owner of the symlink, not the target
PERMISSIONS are established by the target file/directory, the link cannot have permissions
HARD LINK ln source link-to-source
The reason why hard links are sometimes used in preference to symbolic links is that some programs are not fooled by a symbolic link: if you, say, have a script that uses cp to copy a file, it will copy the symbolic link instead of the file it points to14.1. A hard link however will always be seen as a real file.
Hard links however cannot be made between files on different file-systems. They also cannot be made between directories.