Hard links

Paul Gear paul at libertysys.com.au
Thu Feb 12 07:06:56 GMT 2009

David Ryder wrote:
> ...
>> The underlying reason is that a softlink is a 'reference in a
>> directory' to another 'directory entry'. When you delete a file or
>> directory, the filesystem has no 'local' record of who else may be
>> pointing to (referencing it). So, it stops there, rather than scanning
>> the entire filesystem when you delete each file to look for possible
>> floating softlinks.
> Much like Microsoft then. I thought a table was kept in linux.
> Is there a way to list broken symlinks?
> Thanks for explaining it to me, I very much appreciate your help.

Another issue is that symlinks can be on separate file systems from what
they link to, whereas hard links cannot.  So even if there was a table
of back links on disk, it would only work within the same file system.

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