NTFS directory symlinks

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NTFS directory symlinks

Howard Chu
After searching the mailing list archives I see that symlinks were a
major headache in the past. Just curious if there's any interest in
adding support for NTFS symlinks, like this:
   http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Junction.html
It requires Win2K or newer, and only works for directories. I think it
would be useful sometimes but not if it's going to cause a great deal of
pain. Some of the packages I compile allow building the objects in a
separate hierarchy from the source tree, but also use symlinks in one or
two places to get to directories in the source tree. The problem with
the current copy approach is that when I cvs update my source tree, the
copy in the object tree doesn't update, so I have to remember to rm it
and copy it manually.

--
   -- Howard Chu
   Chief Architect, Symas Corp.       Director, Highland Sun
   http://www.symas.com               http://highlandsun.com/hyc
   Symas: Premier OpenSource Development and Support


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Re: NTFS directory symlinks

Michael S. Zick
On Tue June 7 2005 23:48, Howard Chu wrote:
> After searching the mailing list archives I see that symlinks were a
> major headache in the past. Just curious if there's any interest in
> adding support for NTFS symlinks, like this:
>    http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Junction.html
> It requires Win2K or newer, and only works for directories.
>
You might want to look at the license requirements also, this is
an Open Source Project.

If you need sym-links, check the version-4 uwin source.
<http://www.research.att.com/sw/tools/uwin/>

It is OSI approved open source licensed.
They do sym-links and hard links; fat32 and ntfs; file and directory.

Mike


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Re: NTFS directory symlinks

Michael S. Zick
On Wed June 8 2005 00:28, Michael S. Zick wrote:

> On Tue June 7 2005 23:48, Howard Chu wrote:
> > After searching the mailing list archives I see that symlinks were a
> > major headache in the past. Just curious if there's any interest in
> > adding support for NTFS symlinks, like this:
> >    http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Junction.html
> > It requires Win2K or newer, and only works for directories.
> >
> You might want to look at the license requirements also, this is
> an Open Source Project.
>
> If you need sym-links, check the version-4 uwin source.
> <http://www.research.att.com/sw/tools/uwin/>
>
That page is a little out of date - the uwin sources are "compiler
neutral" and are tested to build with the minGW tool chain,
among others.

> It is OSI approved open source licensed.
> They do sym-links and hard links; fat32 and ntfs; file and directory.
>
> Mike
>
>
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>


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Re: NTFS directory symlinks

K. Haley
In reply to this post by Michael S. Zick
Michael S. Zick wrote:

>On Tue June 7 2005 23:48, Howard Chu wrote:
>  
>
>>After searching the mailing list archives I see that symlinks were a
>>major headache in the past. Just curious if there's any interest in
>>adding support for NTFS symlinks, like this:
>>   http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Junction.html
>>It requires Win2K or newer, and only works for directories.
>>
>>    
>>
>You might want to look at the license requirements also, this is
>an Open Source Project.
>
>If you need sym-links, check the version-4 uwin source.
><http://www.research.att.com/sw/tools/uwin/>
>
>It is OSI approved open source licensed.
>They do sym-links and hard links; fat32 and ntfs; file and directory.
>
>  
>
There is also NTFSLink
http://forge.novell.com/modules/xfmod/project/?ntfslink . It's under the
GPL and supports both as well.


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Re: NTFS directory symlinks

Earnie Boyd
In reply to this post by Michael S. Zick
On 5:28:48 am 2005-06-08 "Michael S. Zick" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue June 7 2005 23:48, Howard Chu wrote:
> >  After searching the mailing list archives I see that symlinks were
> >  a major headache in the past. Just curious if there's any interest
> >  in adding support for NTFS symlinks, like this:
> >     http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Junction.html
> >  It requires Win2K or newer, and only works for directories.
> >
> You might want to look at the license requirements also, this is
> an Open Source Project.
>
> If you need sym-links, check the version-4 uwin source.
> <http://www.research.att.com/sw/tools/uwin/>
>
> It is OSI approved open source licensed.
> They do sym-links and hard links; fat32 and ntfs; file and directory.
>

Stepping in here, first Mike I appreciate the work you're doing with
analyzing MSYS issues.  I don't really appreciate the frequent mention of
other tools as alternatives.

MSYS doesn't do symlinks because as implemented in Cygwin native tools did
not recognize them as such.  I made symlink return ENOSYS as it isn't
supported.  However, if the operating system and file system supports it
and we have enough testing on other versions of the OS and file systems
then I'm not against using junction as a symlink variant assuming the
native programs do not have to do anything special to use them.

Earnie

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Re: NTFS directory symlinks

Michael S. Zick
On Wed June 8 2005 06:07, Earnie Boyd wrote:

> On 5:28:48 am 2005-06-08 "Michael S. Zick" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On Tue June 7 2005 23:48, Howard Chu wrote:
> > >  After searching the mailing list archives I see that symlinks were
> > >  a major headache in the past. Just curious if there's any interest
> > >  in adding support for NTFS symlinks, like this:
> > >     http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Junction.html
> > >  It requires Win2K or newer, and only works for directories.
> > >
> > You might want to look at the license requirements also, this is
> > an Open Source Project.
> >
> > If you need sym-links, check the version-4 uwin source.
> > <http://www.research.att.com/sw/tools/uwin/>
> >
> > It is OSI approved open source licensed.
> > They do sym-links and hard links; fat32 and ntfs; file and directory.
> >
>
> Stepping in here, first Mike I appreciate the work you're doing with
> analyzing MSYS issues.  I don't really appreciate the frequent mention of
> other tools as alternatives.
>
Not as alternatives, as other open sources of information to aid
in our own development; but I'll stop since you ask.

- - - - -

In this case, these people are one of our "customers" -
Since they do not provide a tool chain, instead they test their package to
build with minGW and the minGW tool chain is one of those recommended
to their users.

Much better in my mind than suggesting closed source, pay for use,
software as a source of inspiration.

Mike


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Re: NTFS directory symlinks

Earnie Boyd
On 12:29:27 pm 2005-06-08 "Michael S. Zick" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed June 8 2005 06:07, Earnie Boyd wrote:
> >  On 5:28:48 am 2005-06-08 "Michael S. Zick" <[hidden email]>
> > >  wrote: On Tue June 7 2005 23:48, Howard Chu wrote:
> > > >   After searching the mailing list archives I see that symlinks
> > > >   were a major headache in the past. Just curious if there's
> > > >   any interest in adding support for NTFS symlinks, like this:
> > > >      http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Junction.html
> > > >   It requires Win2K or newer, and only works for directories.
> > > >
> > >  You might want to look at the license requirements also, this is
> > >  an Open Source Project.
> > >
> > >  If you need sym-links, check the version-4 uwin source.
> > >  <http://www.research.att.com/sw/tools/uwin/>
> > >
> > >  It is OSI approved open source licensed.
> > >  They do sym-links and hard links; fat32 and ntfs; file and
> > > directory.
> >
> >  Stepping in here, first Mike I appreciate the work you're doing
> >  with analyzing MSYS issues.  I don't really appreciate the
> >  frequent mention of other tools as alternatives.
> >
> Not as alternatives, as other open sources of information to aid
> in our own development; but I'll stop since you ask.
>

If we were using a developer only list, I wouldn't have objected.  I didn't
read your post as "Here is code we can use" but instead read it as "If you
want this feature then go here".  We can of course use already written Open
Source code.  The caveat is that what ever file system objects MSYS creates
native tools must be able to use.

> - - - - -
>
> In this case, these people are one of our "customers" -
> Since they do not provide a tool chain, instead they test their
> package to build with minGW and the minGW tool chain is one of those
> recommended to their users.
>

I didn't know that uwin was building with MinGW.  I'm finding MinGW used
more and more.

> Much better in my mind than suggesting closed source, pay for use,
> software as a source of inspiration.
>

Obvious.

Earnie.



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Re: NTFS directory symlinks

Michael S. Zick
On Wed June 8 2005 08:49, Earnie Boyd wrote:

> On 12:29:27 pm 2005-06-08 "Michael S. Zick" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > - - - - -
> >
> > In this case, these people are one of our "customers" -
> > Since they do not provide a tool chain, instead they test their
> > package to build with minGW and the minGW tool chain is one of those
> > recommended to their users.
> >
>
> I didn't know that uwin was building with MinGW.  I'm finding MinGW used
> more and more.
>
The MinGW toolchain is widely used; most likely by a lot of people the user's
list never hears from.

For that reason, I can understand why you take a very conservative approach
to changing anything - no way to tell what or who's project a change might break.

Meanwhile, I am following in Max's footsteps and have reached a point where
we are getting different results.
More when we get it sorted out.

Mike


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Re: NTFS directory symlinks

Howard Chu
In reply to this post by Howard Chu
> MSYS doesn't do symlinks because as implemented in Cygwin native tools did
> not recognize them as such.  I made symlink return ENOSYS as it isn't
> supported.  However, if the operating system and file system supports it
> and we have enough testing on other versions of the OS and file systems
> then I'm not against using junction as a symlink variant assuming the
> native programs do not have to do anything special to use them.
>
> Earnie

Reading the NTFSlink docs pointed me to this article
http://shell-shocked.org/article.php?id=284

which gives a pretty good overview of the available info and tools. The
one caveat is that Windows Explorer will delete the contents of a
symlink target when you try to delete a symlink. I think the latest
NTFSlink fixes this.

All the other docs I've read state that symlinks are only available for
directories and not plain files, but there are hints here that they may
also work for plain files.

But aside from that, they are completely transparent, native apps don't
have to do anything special to use them.
--
   -- Howard Chu
   Chief Architect, Symas Corp.       Director, Highland Sun
   http://www.symas.com               http://highlandsun.com/hyc
   Symas: Premier OpenSource Development and Support


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