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Tried to search the web and couldn't find an answer. It might have something to do with "load", but that doesn't make much sense to me.

Obviously, "ln" was already taken, but where does that "d" come from?

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How would you assertively know that linking appeared before loading? –  galegosimpatico Feb 5 at 14:50
I wouldn't, and may well be wrong about that. –  Sebastian Redl Feb 5 at 14:53
But you could be right my dear, see here (linked from here (linked from here (linked from here))) that there is already a ln as long as the ar and ld in first edition UNIX ca. 1971. I'm afraid the living authors may be starting to forget this kind of anecdote. –  galegosimpatico Feb 7 at 23:15

1 Answer 1

up vote 25 down vote accepted

Linkers in Linux were originally called loaders. See Assembly Language Step-by-Step: Programming with Linux by Jeff Duntemann:

Linking the Object code File

...Linux comes with its own linker, called ld. (The name is actually short for "load", and "loader" was what linkers were originally called, in the First Age of Unix, back in the 1970s.)

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Note that the term "loading" is still used - when starting a program it is loaded in some memory area and to quite some degree the same operations as with "linking" happen, not only due to dynamic/runtime linking .. "Linkers and Loaders" by John R. Levine (ISBN: 1558604960) is a good book for the ones who want to know all the details. –  johannes Feb 3 at 17:45

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