[Bug 12230] Data loss when deleting symlinks over sftp

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Sun Oct 16 20:50:00 UTC 2005

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------- Additional Comments From hegbloom at pdx.edu  2005-10-16 21:49 UTC -------
The reason for this is that the sftp system does not support symlinks.  They are
treated as the real file or directory that they point to.  I learned this by
looking at the FUSE sshfs and shfs (iirc).  I noticed it when I tried to use
'git' across an sshfs mounted directory.  I believe that the same problem may
exist with an ftp based file system or gnome-vfs, since IIRC CMIIW ftp does not
have a symlink operation either.

There is not an easy way to fix this, since doing so probably involves extending
the sftp or ftp protocol to include symlinking.  Certainly that is something it
should have.  It could probably be emulated by having the interconnecting SSH
pipe set up to multiplex and then use a shell at the other end to run symlink
commands, and whatever else is needed to augment the base sftp protocol.  For
ftp, that's not as easy to do, unless we luck out and it already has a symlink

Q: Does the new Samba 'CIFS' support everything needed for this kind of
application?  Or, perhaps better, what about NFSv4?  Can it do a secured over
the untrusted Internet file system export?  Since it's RPC based, someone could
probably write a gnome-vfs driver for that...  But it would seem to me that
setting up a way to get an automount via autofs or something would be more
global and easier to use; less redundant and probably more efficient.  I have
not learned enough about the various options in this subject area to say a lot
more at this point.

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