Skip to content

How to check if hardlinks are working

You've followed the guide step by step but still want to check if hardlinks are working, or someone on the Sonarr/Radarr support team asked you to check if your files are hardlinked?

You can use 3 options to check if you got working hardlinks.

All methods require you to login to your terminal with PuTTY or similar software.


You can't create hard links for directories ‼

You can't cross file systems ‼


If you use usenet these examples won't work because you make use of instant moves/atomic moves and not hardlinks.

Still want to test if it works ?

Test a import of a 4k remux (or any other big file and you should notice it's almost instant) and not a slower and more I/O intensive copy + delete.

Method 1: Using ls

This is the easiest to check in my opinion.

In your terminal cd to your download location and run ls -al or type ls -al /path/to/your/download/location/

You will get a listing of all your files and on the left side you will see a couple of numbers, every file with a number above 1 are hardlinks.

!Hardlinks check ls -al

  • Red rectangle - Not Hardlinked
  • Green rectangle - Hardlinks
  • Blue rectangle - Folders/Directories you will need to go in to them to check if the files are hardlinked.

Method 2: Using stat

This way requires a bit more work.

  • In the terminal type: stat /path/to/your/download/location/file.mkv

  • In the terminal type: stat /path/to/your/media/location/file.mkv

You will get 2 results you can use to compare several things.

!Hardlinks check stat

  1. Links: Everything above 1 means it's a hardlink
  2. Inode: if the numbers match you know the files are hardlinked

Method 3: Using Inode copies

  • In your terminal cd to your download location and run ls -i file.mkv or type ls -i /path/to/your/download/location/file.mkv

This will reveal the inode of your file on the left side of the file.

!Hardlinks check ls -i

  • In your terminal type: find /mnt/user/data/ -inum ### or find . -inum ### if you're in your root folder.

### = Your inode number on the left of the file you found.

!hardlinks inode

It will list all files linked with the same inode number.