Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Vista To Get Symlinks?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the sounds-like-another-os-i-know dept.

Microsoft 565

TheRealSlimShady writes "According to a post by Ward Ralston on the Windows server team's weblog, Vista server is to get symlinks as part of the SMB2 protocol." From the post: "In Vista/Longhorn server, the file system (NTFS) will start supporting a new filesystem object (examples of existing filesystem objects are files, folders etc.). This new object is a symbolic link. Think of a symbolic link as a pointer to another file system object (it can be a file, folder, shortcut or another symbolic link)."

cancel ×

565 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913687)

Omg First Post

Ah yes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913690)

I belive they call that a Shortcut.

Re:Ah yes (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913697)

I'm not sure a shortcut would count, since shortcuts are not application-transparent in the same way as symlinks.

No. (5, Informative)

Virak (897071) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913713)

Shortcuts are just ordinary files that, when opened, open the location it points to. A symlink, however, allows you transparently access it as though it were the actual file/folder; "C:\Shortcut to porn\hot lesbian action.jpg" won't work, whereas "C:\Symlink to porn\hot lesbian action.jpg" will. See the Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] , for more info.

Re:No. (1, Funny)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913877)

Maybe someday they'll get really advanced and invent hard links too.

Re:Ah yes (4, Interesting)

strider44 (650833) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913720)

Perhaps you should of read the article, especially the bit "how is this different from a shortcut?"

The basis of it is that a shortcut is just a file - the exact same thing as a shortcut can be achieved by having a file with the target path just written in ascii inside, and assuming that the reader can tell it's a shortcut then it could get the target path sure, but if the reader is not equiped to specifically handle those shortcuts then it'll get muck.

A symlink masquerades as the actual file or folder, and the app doesn't need any specific handling to read the file. You can for example go into bash and write "cd symlink/" and it'll go to that folder. A shortcut is just a file, a symlink is an attribute of the filesystem.

Re:Ah yes (4, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913788)

The basis of it is that a shortcut is just a file

When shortcuts were invented for Win95 the Win32 API should have been built to treat a shortcut as the object it pointed to. That way they would have had real working links up front. Now they are going to be stuck with two types of link which work in different ways.

Duplication... (5, Insightful)

Erik_the_Awful (675368) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913691)

...is a compliment of the highest form.

Re:Duplication... (2, Funny)

thatshortkid (808634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913795)

wow. so the editors must really love every 3rd article, huh?

Yet more great (5, Funny)

Skiron (735617) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913693)

innovation from MS.

Re:Yet more great (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913717)

Yea, they better hurry up and patent it before those unix hippies copy it.

Funny thing is... (5, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913748)

that in about 2 years time, everybody will be running around saying that MS developed it, and that *nix copied it. Just the way it works.

Innovation! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913694)

..and people say MS isn't innovative!

Symbolic links? (3, Funny)

el_womble (779715) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913696)

What a fantastic idea! Why didn't you UNIX guys think of that whilst you were eating ambrosia up in your ivory tower eh? ... Oh...

Microsoft 'innovating' once again, and giving the people what the want (10 years after everyone else). Go Redmond!

Re:Symbolic links? (5, Insightful)

m4dm4n (888871) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913791)

I don't believe that the word innovate was used anywhere except here on slashdot. While it's been a long time coming, the blog entry that originally posted this admits that all these additions are addressing limitations in SMB.

It's not like Linux never copied an idea from another OS, yet it seems MS is not allowed to add a feature unless they thought of it themselves.

But then I guess everyone here gets a bit bitter when there is one less thing to complain about MS.

Re:Symbolic links? (2, Insightful)

ben_rh (788000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913874)

I think you're right to an extent, but the innovation comments are intended to be more general.

The density of the word 'innovation' in things MS say is directly proportional to how scared they are of the thing they're talking about.

Re:Symbolic links? (1)

Shulai (34423) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913879)

The matter isn't MS using existent features from other systems, but the fact they do it a very long time after the feature showed up for the first time, sometimes very long time after power users want that feature (preemptive multitasking and a decent filesystem comes to mind), yet most people won't realise all of this but take it as novel ideas.

Re:Symbolic links? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913881)

Microsoft are the ones always harping on about innovation, we like to take these opportunities to remind people that most things comming out of Redmond (other than the foul stench of bullshit) were copied or acquired. Microsoft couldn't innovate it's way out of a paper bag, they are a bad joke and have even coined their own punchline. Now that's what I call innovation!

Re:Symbolic links? (3, Insightful)

ben_rh (788000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913800)

It's actually closer to 40 years.. but yeah :)

Allow me to be the first to say... (5, Funny)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913700)

Welcome to the 1980s, Microsoft.

(Who was it who said: 'Those who don't know UNIX are condemned to recreate it. Badly.' ?)

Re:Allow me to be the first to say... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913728)

Who was it who said: 'Those who don't know UNIX are condemned to recreate it. Badly.' ?)

I know what you mean. Linux certainly is a recreation of UNIX, and a bad one at that.

Re:Allow me to be the first to say... (1)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913749)

GNU Linux "is not Unix". Recursive acronyms are hard for BSD users to understand.

Go and create symlinks to your shortcuts, and shortcuts to your symlinks - until you can't tell the difference without ls.

Re:Allow me to be the first to say... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913814)

"Linux" isn't an acronym, and anyway, that has absolutely fsckall to do with anything. Are you actually convinced symlinks are a linux invention, or do you just like taking advantage of any opportunity to parrot some inane GNU marching motto while taking weak shots at BSD users?

Re:Allow me to be the first to say... (1)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913824)

GNU Linux "is not Unix". Recursive acronyms are hard for BSD users to understand.

Go and create symlinks to your shortcuts, and shortcuts to your symlinks - until you can't tell the difference without ls.

We'd be more than happy to if you would bother to learn the correct implementation of our Socket Distribution you're shamelessly ripping off.

Dammit, you idiots, select() shall not modify my time_val!

Re:Allow me to be the first to say... (3, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913733)

I'm sure that's what those Plan9 folks are thinking of the Linux/BSD camp^_^

Re:Allow me to be the first to say... (5, Informative)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913771)

(Who was it who said: 'Those who don't know UNIX are condemned to recreate it. Badly.' ?)

$ fortune -m 'condemned'
...

Those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly. -- Henry Spencer

And those who don't understand fortune(1) are condemned to ask about quotes =)

Re:Allow me to be the first to say... (1)

DeBeuk (239106) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913801)

Dennis Richie

HTH

OMG (2, Funny)

Mateito (746185) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913701)

This is a joke, right?

Re:OMG (1)

islev (158831) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913726)

Yes, of couse it's a joke. And the punch line goes last: "Note symbolic links are an NTFS feature."

Usually, as if this was 'invented' by microsoft ..

Obligatory quote (3, Funny)

OscarBlock (861399) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913703)

Those who don't understand UNIX are doomed to reinvent it, poorly." --Henry Spencer

It's worse (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913794)

"Those who do not understand UNIX are doomed to buy Windows." --Anonymous Coward

Parent funnier than grandparent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913868)

n/t

Wait, it gets worse (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913890)

"Those who do not understand UNIX are doomed BY Windows." --Anonymous Coward

Wow! (-1, Redundant)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913706)

Microsoft does it again. Revolutionary technology from our friends in Redmond!

Different than shortcuts (5, Informative)

246o1 (914193) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913708)

From TFA, before it gets slashdotted and someone asks:
Well, a shortcut will only work when used from within the Windows shell, it is a construct of the shell, and other apps don't understand short-cuts. To other apps, short-cuts look just like a file. With symbolic links, this concept is taken and is implemented within the file system. Apps when they open a symbolic link will now open the target by default (i.e. what the link points to), unless they explicitly ask for the symbolic link itself to be opened.

"Virtual folders", I believe it's used for (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913709)

Some of the Vista previews have shown off things dubbed "virtual folders" which work in a similar way to browsing by artist or album in the current version of Media Player. You can manipulate the files like it's a normal folder window, yet the actual files may be scattered over different folders and drives. Presumably it's an effort to make managing large amounts of music/video outside of Media Player easier. They almost certainly use these symbolic links. They're a bit different from shortcuts.

Security risk? (5, Interesting)

fm2503 (876331) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913710)

From TFA:

"Now why is this relevant to the SMB2 protocol? This is because, for symbolic links to behave correctly, they should be interpreted on the client side of a file sharing protocol (otherwise this can lead to security holes). "

Is it not rather:

"If the client does not interpret symbolic links then nothing will work?"

Re:Security risk? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913770)

The folder scanners pretty loops will crunch your HDD.

Re:Security risk? (4, Interesting)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913887)

Presumably the security problem has something to do with symlinks that point to a file that the client does not have permission to read. If the server handles symlinks in a naive way, then on a request to open() a symlink it would open the target file (which is the usual behaviour of opening a symlink), but potentially with the wrong permissions.

If the server did no special behaviour for symlinks then they would appear to the client as a duplicate of the symlink target, an ordinary file.

NTFS already does it since Win2K ! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913711)

See here :

http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Junction.htm l [sysinternals.com]

Any feature new in Vista but the look and feel ? ;-)

What about booting the OS with less than about 20 services started and 256MB of memory used ? :(

Re:NTFS already does it since Win2K ! (3, Insightful)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913755)

Doesn't really matter if Win2K could do it if the feature was buried and the user had no way to use it. Also, Sys Internals seems to imply that only directories may be linked, not specific files. Not quite the same thing.
I've been wishing Windows would support this elemental feature for a long time now. I would have used it to create a directory tree with the structure I wanted to burn on CD, without having to move all the actual files around. The CD burning software I've tried doesn't understand shortcuts either. Of course you can usually create the tree you want within the burning app. But then, you have to save it in their proprietary format, and some programs I've used manage to trash that info too.

Re:NTFS already does it since Win2K ! (2, Informative)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913833)

If junctions only work on directories then you'd want to look at the CreateHardLink API [microsoft.com] (available in Win2K/XP/2003) which works only on files. You can create up to 1023 links to a single file using this API.

Re:NTFS already does it since Win2K ! (1)

TummyX (84871) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913807)

Um I don't think so. You can only make directory junctions (not file ones).

29 years in the making (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913712)

It took microsoft 29 years to figure this out.

Did they patent it? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913716)

Combining this technology with their 'sudo' patent could help them cause major hardships for Linux companies . . .

Any bets on how long... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913723)

...before they patent it?

Fantastic! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913724)

Symbolic Link and SMB2 - should I also be waiting for ZeldaFS and MegaMon?

Re:Fantastic! (1, Funny)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913762)

Duke Nukem Forever will run on Windows Vista - when the new DB filesystem becomes available.

I had to check.... (2, Funny)

kg4czo (516374) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913725)

the date to see if it was April 1st.

Oh the horrors (1, Funny)

gringer (252588) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913802)

No, it's not April 1st, it's halloween. Microsoft are trying to scare us all away from using Windows.

This could break a lot programs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913730)

I hope they're carefull, this could break lots of programs that recursively browse a filesystem without limiting the max depth. Anyway, it's a nice feature to have, I've been missing it.

Re:This could break a lot programs (1)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913787)

That would be a fun VBScript to write and email to everyone I know who buys Vista as soon as it comes out! :-)

NTFS already has symlinks, has done for years (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913731)

They are just not accesible from the shell. You need 3rd party utils to use them.. http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Junction.htm l [sysinternals.com]

They're called hardlinks. (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913886)

I'm not sure if they are the same as symlinks, hardlinks are duplicate file records in the FAT. You can create them in XP (maybe 2k?) with the syntax (from the windows XP help file):

fsutil hardlink create NewFilename ExistingFilename

Hardlinks cannot jump partitions though, that's why I'm not sure if they are the same as symlinks. If a hardlink is removed, the file remains until the last reference to it is deleted.

New strapline? (3, Funny)

seanellis (302682) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913734)

Vista - 1980's technology today^H^H^H^H^Hsometime next year.

Re:New strapline? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913858)

I understand that SP1 is to support the following:

find / -noleaf -follow -type f -name "foo*.c" -exec grep -iH "crispy" {} \;

Server-side symbolic links? (1)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913736)

"[...]for symbolic links to behave correctly, they should be interpreted on the client side of a file sharing protocol (otherwise this can lead to security holes)"

So... they're implemented server-side in Vista then?

Innovation? (1)

ilitirit (873234) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913742)

What's with all this talk of innovation? Is the *nix crowd feeling threatened? From what I gather, symlinks were introduced with the SMB2 protocol, and nowhere in the article does it claim that Microsoft invented either of these technologies.

Re:Innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913819)

You must be new here.

Microsoft persistantly bring up innovation as if it somehow excuses their business practices (see DOJ Antitrust lawsuit), the reality is that everything they do is either copied or acquired from 3rd parties.

We can only hope (1, Informative)

n0dalus (807994) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913751)

Since Windows programs have not ever needed to check for the existence of symlinks, a lot of software will be a serious DoS waiting to happen. Recursive symlink traversal is one of the most devastating things a computer can do to itself. It can damage hard drives, crash software, take down servers and generally make the computer unusable. On UNIX, almost all software is aware of this pitfall and won't go crashing the computer.

Re:We can only hope (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913757)

Has some rather worrying implications for back compatability, doesn't it? You might have to go and buy your software again to make sure it doesn't try to eat itself. Wait a minute...

Re:We can only hope (4, Informative)

countach (534280) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913830)

Bullshit. Most unix software is not aware of symlinks because it doesn't have to be. Generally, only system utilities care about the existance of symlinks. The OS will detect an attempt to open an infinitely recursive symlink.

Great... but (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913752)

Now that NTFS has UNIX filesystem semantics, when will UNIX/Linux filesystems get some NTFS features like multiple streams and reparse points.

These features are incredibly useful (arguably more so than symlinks), and the only Linux fs that comes close to implementing them is reiser4, which is not even part of the kernel.

Lol, symlinks (5, Informative)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913753)

The inventors of Unix scrapped symlinks when they did their next OS

Symbolic links make the Unix file system non-hierarchical, resulting in multiple valid path names for a given file. This ambiguity is a source of confusion, especially since some shells work overtime to present a consistent view from programs such as pwd, while other programs and the kernel itself do nothing about the problem.

http://plan9.bell-labs.com/sys/doc/lexnames.html [bell-labs.com]

NT *was* going to have executables that pretended to be files, i.e. when you opened the executable to get the contents it would run and return the output rather than the by bytes of the executable, with a special NT syscall to read the *real* contents. Kind of like a named pipe. I was looking forward to this but it didn't work out.

Re:Lol, symlinks (1)

jrockway (229604) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913766)

What happens when you mmap one of these suckers?

Re:Lol, symlinks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913836)

mmap() is for those who don't know how to read() and write()

Re:Lol, symlinks (2, Interesting)

HawkingMattress (588824) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913867)

Well one could argue that scrapping symlinks was a really bad idea. Yes they can lead to messy filesystems if they are used in a bad way, but they are also the only way to solve a myriad of problems.
For example, i have dozens of webapps deployed in their own directories, and they all need a configuration file in a their own directory. Since this config file is the same for each webapp, it certaily makes a lot of sense to have the file be a symlink to a real file somewhere else, in a kind of meta directory. Then I can just edit this file instead of having to edit each copies. There is no way around this type of problem without symlinks. You have to make the thing less maintenable, more error prone, and futhermore you'll need to do more work, like maybe creating a script to copy the file in each directory.

not news (1)

HawkingMattress (588824) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913758)

There have been soft links in ntfs since at least w2K, and probably NT4. I believe they're called junctions in the NTFS jargon. You need the administrative tools to be able to create them. And at least now they're kinda problematic in the sense that there is no way to distinguish them from real folder or files ince they've been created unless you bring up cmd.exe and check with junction.exe if they are indeed symlinks. So it would certainly be a good idea to integrate them better and have them in the main release. (Plus i don't know how it is now, but when i tried to install the administrative pack there was a big warning saying that you shouldn't do that unless your windows locale is english american, and that it was likely to cause unsupported problems if you did otherwise...)

Re:not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913885)

No, what windows has had since w2k is hard links, not soft links...

I expect even more "inspiration"... (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913759)

... getting to Vista and coming from FOSS or *nix. Apple demostrated that incorporating free software has lots of advantages without hurting sales much, if at all.
And Microsoft, with its stance on patents vs copyright in software, already demonstrated it can do shameless 180 degree turns.
Microsoft: how much can you trust us today? :)
Gates on patents [corante.com]

Another Vista Bug (1)

DavidHOzAu (925585) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913760)

they should be interpreted on the client side of a file sharing protocol (otherwise this can lead to security holes)

So if I call a Vista server from my Linux or WinXP box, the server will be as open as a sieve? Sweet.

So, will they also get hard links? (2, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913763)

My understanding is that NTFS does not use hard links (and the associated counts). If they are allowing symblics, why not allow hard links?

Re:So, will they also get hard links? (1)

v2 (34783) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913784)

NTFS supports hard links. There just aren't that many tools which can create them.

Re:So, will they also get hard links? (1)

dascandy (869781) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913884)

Your understanding is wrong. It did support hardlinks since the first version of the FS, as can be seen by hexediting the file table and seeing numerous files with commonly up to 4 names at the start of the FS.

You don't understand... (1)

mynickwastaken (690966) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913765)

This is a real innovation in MS world. Just imagine the posibility of exploring all thoose security flaws related with this new tehnology.

MS Motto (5, Funny)

psiekl (310217) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913768)

We are the leaders, wait for us!

How sad (2, Insightful)

photon317 (208409) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913773)


The Unix guys finally figure out how to move past symlinks to something better (private per-process inherited namespaces and bind() overlay mounts ala Plan 9 - coming to a Linux box near you soon), and now Windows starts implementing it for the first time (well .lnk links were kinda like half-baked symlinks, so they were halfway there before this announcement anyways).

NTFS Reparse points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913781)

which let you implement symlink behavior has been around since Windows 2000.

In order to create them you can use junction.exe:

http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Junction.htm l [sysinternals.com]

..and about time, too! (2, Insightful)

unfunk (804468) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913782)

...now how about they get rid of this god-awful heirarchy thing they have happening here?
In Windows Explorer, the topmost level is the desktop, while in the CLI, there's as many 'topmost' levels as there are drives in the machine.
I never thought I'd say this, but I think they should adopt a *nix-like heirarchy, so that anything can be 'mounted' anywhere. Of course, they'd have to change the structure significantly, and have a built-in translator for "C:\things\stuff" type commands and whatnot.

But then, it'd probably be so hard to change all that, that they'd be better off doing an Apple OSX trick, and we all know how likely that would be...

Re:..and about time, too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913854)

It is already possible that you can map a new harddisk partion some as a directory or sub-directory on your computer.

The only problem is that you can't use that harddisk afterwards some else. It will somehow create a partition on it that functions as a sub-directory of an other harddisk...

Well again, they did implement something like it, but question remeans if it is as usefull as you thought before...
outside of NTFS you can forget about it... NO Linux support and NO Windows 98 or DOS support...

well another useless adventure...

useful? really? (0)

teslar (706653) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913783)

All the 'M$ is just copying the OS of the Gods again' aside, and not doubting for a minute that symlinks are powerful little thingies, does the average user *really* need them? I certainly can't remember ever having said 'Damn, I wish this piece-of-crap-OS would support symlinks' during my Windows days. Even under Linux, leaving OS-related symlinks aside, the only ones I have are in my home folder - they point to data directories on other partitions and their function is exactly that of a shortcut under Windows - they merely replace the clutter of folder shortcuts on my Windows desktop.

So, yeah, they are cool and more powerful than Windows shortcuts... but did anyone *really* need them?

Re:useful? really? (2, Informative)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913823)

does the average user *really* need them? I certainly can't remember ever having said 'Damn, I wish this piece-of-crap-OS would support symlinks' during my Windows days.

Man, you need to use symlinks to see how useful they are. As someone pointed before, symlinks are great to create compilations of files on a directory. Also, they are very useful if you want to use different types of libraries (DLLs) on different programs (in different directoires).

As for the "average user", as someone else said also, this symlink will surely help the file system Virtual folders or whatever is named. It is the same as the SQL oriented file system, you could ask, will the average user make use of SQL queries?, and the answer is that, they will, indirectley through the applications that are make use of that technology.

Remember, this symlink will be a feature of the FILESYSTEM, which will be used by the programs. I for one would preffer to have multiple symlinks to DLLS than to have to copy the libraries through all the hard disk (or maybe not DLLS but other files).

Re:useful? really? (1)

countach (534280) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913844)

Uh yeah, we really need them. They can solve any manner of tricky problems. Some program expects some file to be someplace for some stupid reason, and you can just symlink it to where it expects it to be. Or you can mount drives in a new place and symlink things to where they used to be. Do you want to be in control of your file system, or at the mercy of it? As I understand it, Plan 9 have given you even more control, but symlinks are better than nothing.

20 years later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913786)

... and they're still catching up with the basic features of UNIX. :P

NTFS already has symlinks (1)

heffrey (229704) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913805)

NTFS had had symlinks for donkey's years. Have a search for "reparse junction" on Google. I use them all the time on my Windows systems.

Re:NTFS already has symlinks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913859)

Who cares? Windows is for lamers, but this site is for geeks. Big difference.

CYGWIN? (2, Interesting)

the_instigator (679233) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913810)

When i create links in CYGWIN on my win32/NTFS box they appear in MS explorer as shortcuts and work like MS shortcuts but they act like symlinks, this lead me to belive that symlinks were possible under ntfs but not exposed to the user.

Re:CYGWIN? (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913862)

Those are just shortcuts. Windows programs see them as little files of no particular importance. Only the shell and Cygwin interpret them specially.

FOUR, er FIVE symlink styles, all kinda *wrong* (5, Interesting)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913812)

So there's going to be FOUR ways to alias files and folders and volumes:
  • (1) Mapping a directory to a drive letter.
  • (2) Shortcuts.
  • (3) NTFS mount drive as folder.
  • (4) The new symlink thingy.

oops, isnt there still:

  • the old DOS "subst" command too?

Make that FIVE ways. All of them looking somewhat alike, but all with subtly different syntax, semantics, overhead, and security implications. Sweet!

Evaluating the link client side ?? (1)

HawkingMattress (588824) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913829)

From TFA : Now why is this relevant to the SMB2 protocol? This is because, for symbolic links to behave correctly, they should be interpreted on the client side of a file sharing protocol (otherwise this can lead to security holes). SMB2 understands the concept of symbolic links and evaluates the links on the client

I don't quite understand, if I make a symlink called softs in a folder called share for example, of course i want the SMB clients to be able to follow the link as it is evaluated server side. It ain't a security risk, it's how it should be. Now if you do the opposite and have the client evaluate the link, yes you can have deep security issues since you can have the client do things on a file which he thinks is remote while he's in fact treating a local file... I hope the author just mixed up client/server concepts, or it will indeed suck...

Good news (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913834)

It seems that Microsoft operating systems are getting closer to real world needs.
I wonder how did those engineers got this mind blasting idea! [wikipedia.org]

Is M$ after a patent on symlinks (-1, Redundant)

gtoomey (528943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913843)

Sure symlinks were around in the 1970s, but that doesn't top M$ from claiming it as their own!

Improve on symlinks? (5, Informative)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913849)

There can be some improvement, particularly with managing symlinks.

1) When you move a destination object, symlinks don't follow the target . This leaves "broken" symlinks that refer to nothing. Why doesn't the mv command move these too?

2) When you symlink a symlinked folder, the root symlink is ignored. Let's say you symlink /usr/tunes to /usr/local/tunes. Later, you symlink /usr/local/tunes/YMCA.mp3 => ~/my_favorite_song.mp3. Now, you have a symlink that relies on both the existence of "/usr/tunes/" AND symlink "/usr/local/tunes >> /usr/tunes". Thus, while deleting 1st ("/usr/local/tunes => /usr/tunes") symlink doesn't actually delete anything, it does cause ~/my_favorite_song.mp3 to become unworkable.

3) Symlinks cause all kinds of weirds around chrooted file systems , especially ones on a different underlying filesystem. If you're not very careful, nothing is as it seems! Files go nowhere, files are accessable only sometimes, etc. It's logical when you understand and appreciate a symlink for what it is, just a referral, but it can be maddening when security contexts get distorted around a chroot...

Re:Improve on symlinks? (1)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913891)

I think hard links solve problems (1) and (2) for you, as they refer directly to inodes rather than being pointers to directory entries elsewhere in the heirarchy. Only problem being that you can't hard link to a file on a different filesystem.

MyDocu~1.sym (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913873)

I can see it already. Are these new symlinks going to be iso9660 compliant? Yeah right.

Ahh I get it. (1)

windowpain (211052) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913876)

So in other words, shortcuts will work like they should have worked all along. What a concept. But only in the server edition. They'll still be broken in the other "editions." Smooth move.

Innovation Indeed... (1)

oztiks (921504) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913880)

My god, insted of ripping off a decent and challenging "unix like" innovation they are ripping off very simplisitic and straight forward ones. .. I wonder if ms will decide to actually implement VFS subsystems .. now that would raise an eyebrow! not bloody symbolic links ... all i got to say is a big .. PFFFFT!

BTW how come this earned a spot in the slashdot? GIVE ME SOMETHING REALLLLL!!!!!!!!

emulating Unix (1)

dancallaghan (890674) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913888)

It really seems like somebody at M$ has said "what're the best bits of Linux (et al), and why can't we put them into Windows?" Hence we have the much-touted "Monad" shell thing, symlinks, ... But in fact they're not really addressing the Windows' real shortcomings as a server OS, just piling on more coats of paint as they often tend to do ...
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>