Heavy creation and deletion of symlinks

Charles Swiger cswiger at mac.com
Thu Jun 8 00:03:59 UTC 2006

On Jun 6, 2006, at 10:49 PM, Dag Rune Sneeggen wrote:
> So my question is; how does such activity affect the general health  
> and operation of FreeBSD?

It doesn't, really.  The OS will happily deference the symlinks you  
create as needed.

> Also, the health of the harddrive(s) which will most likely be SATA  
> disks.

Decent-quality disk drives shouldn't have any problems operating  
under continuous load, but some low-end "desktop" drives aren't rated  
for continuous operation.  You should probably look into setting up a  
RAID-1, -10, or -5 configuration.

> It is my understanding that symlinks only affects the file  
> allocation table, and not the physical data blocks? This would mean  
> that the impact isn't so terrible, as the changes will be contained  
> to a relatively small part of the beginning of the disk, correct?

No, that is not correct.

The FFS doesn't have a single "file allocation table", it has inodes  
scattered throughout the various cylinder groups, which span the  
entire disk surface.  Inodes contain some metadata which corresponds  
to portions of the MS-DOS FAT, and some systems implement small  
symlinks (aka "fast symlinks") within the inode entry, but longer  
symlinks are stored in the data blocks in a fashion similar to  
keeping text data in a normal file.


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