On a Linux machine I symlink some directories into my home directory like this:

total used in directory 231 available 520120
drwxrwxr-x  3     4k 04-30 18:16 bin
drwxr-xr-x  2     4k 2017-08-23  Desktop
lrwxrwxrwx  1     30 2017-10-10  devel -> /working/mrdarcy/devel

(because /working is the mount point of a much bigger disk).

When I view my home director in Dired and I am on the devel line I would like to open the symlinked directory. However the command I know of, dired-find-file, opens it as /home/mrdarcy/devel.

How can I follow the symlink with a Dired command and open /working/mrdarcy/devel?

1 Answer 1


You can set the value of find-file-visit-truename to t — for instance with customise via M-x customize-variable RET find-file-visit-truename or just with (setq find-file-visit-truename t).

This will result in dired-find-file and Emacs in general, always following symlinks when opening a file or directory. (See the documentation of find-file-visit-truename with C-h v find-file-visit-truename for details.)

If you'd prefer to have a separate function that opens the given directory, following symlinks, the following should do what you want:

(defun dired-find-file-following-symlinks ()
  "In Dired, visit the file or directory on the line, following symlinks"
  (let ((find-file-visit-truename t))

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