[owncloud-devel] Should we sync hard links?

Jos Poortvliet jospoortvliet at gmail.com
Wed Jul 1 06:57:12 GMT 2015

On Tuesday 30 June 2015 16:29:28 Olivier Goffart wrote:
> Hi,
> Historically we have not sync'ed hard links. The sync client just ignores
> them.
> However, there are some good use case to sync them anyway:
> https://github.com/owncloud/client/issues/3241
> In that bug, NTFS filesystem mounter from linux have hardlinks and
> therefore you cannot sync a folder on NTFS on linux.
> So I was wondering if we should just change the code an just synchronize
> hard links.
> I'm only talking about hard links, NOT symbolic links.
> Hard links are two files with the same inode and the same contens on the
> same file system.
> I don't really know what is the use cases for hard links. It is often cited
> as a way to save space if two files share the same contents.
> Anyway, what would be the consequencies of not ignoring hard links?
> Well, they would simply be uploaded to the server.  If there are two linked
> files within the sync directory, the two would be synced independently.
> (This waste a bit of bandwidth but i think it's ok)
> When a file is updated on the server, we would just download it and break
> the link. (because we download and move, the link will be removed)
> Even in case of rename the sync would not be dusrupted.
> So the question is:  Is there any use case in which not ignoring hard links
> would break things?

I can't think of any but I don't do complicated stuff. What I do think is 
that one makes a hard link explicitly because those are not to be ignored - 
otherwise, use a soft link. I am used to software ignoring soft links for 
security and performance reasons, but hard links - I didn't even know you 
COULD ignore them and I wouldn't expect ownCloud to do so.

The update behavior (esp where it breaks hard links on changes) is a bit 
unfortunate but not unexpected, I doubt it'll break anything.


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find me on blog.jospoortvliet.com
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