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Why not just not support hard links?

Why not just not support hard links?

Posted Sep 3, 2004 16:46 UTC (Fri) by hppnq (guest, #14462)
In reply to: Why not just not support hard links? by walles
Parent article: More notes on reiser4

What do you mean with "privileged" name? And why would such files be hard to get rid of?

I suppose what is meant is, that with symbolic links there is a distinction between the actual file and the link: removing the symbolic link leaves the file intact, while removing the file leaves you with a link pointing nowhere. This, of course, is because there are two separate inodes (the entities that keep the metadata): a symbolic link has its own inode. With hard links, you merely remove one of the references to the file (this is a number in the inode that is increased whenever a hard link is created), leaving it intact until the last link is removed. In this respect, all link names are "equal" then.

Getting back to your original question: this is also one of the reasons why you would want to use hard links. (In practice, symbolic links are almost always preferable. You should really know what you're doing when using hard links.)

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