Heavy creation and deletion of symlinks

Charles Swiger cswiger at mac.com
Thu Jun 8 00:15:53 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 will span the entire disk.  Inodes contain  
some metadata which corresponds to aspects of the MS-DOS FAT.

Some Unix systems utilize "fast symlinks" if the symlink is small  
enough (less than 50 characters or so), which are kept in the inode;  
otherwise, for longer symlinks, those are stored as data in sectors  
just like a normal file would be.


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