[OS X TeX] OS X TeX newbie needs help installing TeX on non-boot volume

Peter Dyballa Peter_Dyballa at Web.DE
Mon Sep 12 18:37:07 CEST 2005

Am 12.09.2005 um 17:57 schrieb Mark Smith:

>> #2 won't work with a sym-link, because an application would
>> first need to visit the strange outside location.
> would work (locally) for all apps that are looking for the
> standard location and that's going to be the overwhelming
> number of non-modified cases.

No, Mark: a symbolic link won't work.

The first links were hard links, i.e. you had on one volume more than 
one inode entry (in one or more than one directories) that was pointing 
to the same blocks on disk, i.e. to the same file. The number of 
referrals is the link count and visible in an ls listing.

Then progress made the disks grow and and they got partitioned. Hard 
links could not work over the partition's/slice's/volume's border. So 
symbolic links were created: a simple file that has as contents the 
target to where the link is pointing to. So a sym-link file has a size 
that is proportional to the length of the sym-link (try to create a 
link pointing to ./file and another one pointing to /Users/<your login 
name>/file). And a sym-link is a one-way link: it only points to a 
target. The target has no knowledge that something is aiming at it, so 
there is no way back to where the link starts. So it's not a real or 
hard link, just something symbolic, kind of a reminder ...

A hard link does not consume disk space (it's just some bytes in the 
already reserved space of the inode table). A sym-link takes at least 
one disk block, plus the inode entry. The hard link and it's 'origin' 
cannot be distinguished -- they're one file (with two eMail addresses). 
A sym-link and its target are two different files -- or one too: the 
sym-link pointing to a non-existent file.



                   Sorry my terrible English, my native language Lisp!

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