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Old 01-09-2013, 10:53 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Peverel View Post
However, the soft link points to an absolute address, which is the old, superseded, directory entry.
No! A soft link simply contains a path (either relative or absolute) and will be resolved by the kernel just like any other path. It will always reach the file that currently has the name contained in the path, i.e., the new file. There is no way (via the filesystem**) to reach the old, unlinked file unless it had another hard link.

** For a file still held open by a process, there is a way via /proc to reach the inode even though there is no longer any link within the filesystem.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:03 AM   #17
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If you examine a soft-link, you will find that it literally consists of a file with a directory-name in it. But the filesystem knows what it is and how to treat it when encountering it in a directory search-path. The soft link is resolved by performing a name-lookup at that time. It's entirely possible to have erroneous soft-links that identify directories which either do not exist or are not accessible, and when this is the case, the attempt to use the link does not succeed.


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