links vs real directories

Chris Rees utisoft at
Mon Mar 16 09:13:31 PDT 2009

2009/3/16 John Almberg <jalmberg at>:
> On Mar 16, 2009, at 11:39 AM, Erik Trulsson wrote:
>> On Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 11:22:13AM -0400, John Almberg wrote:
>>> I always thought that links to real directories were pretty much the
>>> same as real directories, but I've just discovered a situation where
>>> they are not and I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong...
>> A *soft* link to a directory entry (be it a directory or a file or
>> something
>> else) is not quite equivalent to the original entry since they are easily
>> distinguished and some programs do treat softlinks differently from other
>> targets.
> I can see that, now... If I create a soft link to ~/shared/config, and then
> cd into the directory, when I type 'ls ..', I get the listing for ~/shared,
> not ~/app.
> Bummer...
> I've just dug through man ln, and don't see any obvious solution. Since this
> must be a problem for anyone who wants to do something like this, I guess I
> am taking the wrong approach, altogether.
> Will have to re-think this....
> <smell of burning rubber commences...>
> -- John
> _______________________________________________
> freebsd-questions at mailing list
> To unsubscribe, send any mail to "freebsd-questions-unsubscribe at"

When we're talking in a technical sense, we should probably use the
correct terms. The 'official' and more descriptive name for a softlink
is a symbolic link.

Symbolic links are an absolute nightmare for security purposes, and
many programs (especially ones set to run suid) choke on them. This
could be intentional....

Since RoR is free software, you could dive in and edit where it looks
for in the source code, or look for a compile-time option. Try

/dir/to/port's/work/directory # ./configure --help


R< $&h ! > $- ! $+      $@ $2 < @ $1 .UUCP. > (

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list