how to recursively symlink every file in a dir

Giorgos Keramidas keramida at
Thu Sep 9 20:05:50 UTC 2010

On Thu, 9 Sep 2010 13:24:50 -0400, Aryeh Friedman <aryeh.friedman at> wrote:
> I want to make it so every file is a seperate symlink in dir2 if and
> only if it is a regular file (not a dir) in dir1... the reason is if
> the file is unchanged then use symlink but I can rm the symlink and
> replace it with a non-symlink:
> To show the problem I am attempting to solve:
> foo: (owned by fred)
>     arf:
>        ack
> in barney's account:
> ln -s ~foo/ foo
> rm foo/arf/ack    # Permissioin denied ... it should nuke the symlink
> and let me then do something like "touch foo/arf/ack

If you don't mind creating the local directories in one run, and then
symlinking everything else, you can use something like:

    cd bar
    ( cd ~foo ; find . -type d ) | xargs mkdir -p
    ( cd ~foo ; find . \! -type d ) | while read fname ; do
            ln -s ~foo/"$fname" "$fname"

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