When multiple hard links exist for a file, deleting its primary link does not delete the content and metadata. These are deleted only when the last remaining link is deleted. While a file has multiple links, if you delete a primary link, the most recently created hard link automatically becomes the new primary link.
If the most recently created hard link is not the link you want to become the primary link, you can delete and re-create the preferred link, then delete the primary link. Make sure you do not create any other new hard links in the meantime.
Deleting a primary link has the following consequences:
Order of Ascendancy: Whenever you delete a primary link for a file with hard links, the most recently created hard link automatically becomes the new primary link.
To identify the pathname of the hard link that is next in line to become the new primary link, see Section 25.7, Viewing Hard Links for a File.
For information about primary links, see Section 25.1.1, Hard Links and the Primary Link
Effective Rights for File System Trustees: When the inherited rights filter is applied to the new primary link’s parent directory, the effective rights for trustees might change.
For information, see Section 25.1.4, Hard Links and File System Trustees
Directory Quotas: When the new primary link is in a different directory, the directory quotas are affected for the old and new parent directories.
For information, see Section 25.1.5, Hard Links and Directory Space Quotas
There are no special commands required to delete a primary link. In a file manager, locate the link name to be deleted, then delete it with delete commands and procedures native to the client you use to access the file.