chown errors?

Matt McCutchen hashproduct+rsync at
Wed Aug 9 16:59:11 GMT 2006

Here is what I remember based on messing with a Mac a few years ago.
The Mac OS X filesystem supports hard links, symbolic links, and
aliases.  The graphical Finder shows both symbolic links and aliases
with a small icon.  However, it only knows how to create aliases, and
editing a symbolic link with the Finder turns it into an alias.  "ls
-l" shows symbolic links with type "l" as you would expect and aliases
as regular files.  Writing data to an alias with "echo foo >myalias"
doesn't seem to have any effect.  I didn't experiment with hard links,
but I read that the Mac OS X filesystem doesn't support them natively
and thus emulates them using multiple references to a single file in a
hidden area.  Based on this information, you should be able to find
out more about the nature of the offending files.

A Windows shortcut is just a regular file of extension "lnk"; its data
contains an absolute path and a bunch of other junk.  Windows
shortcuts are interpreted specially by all Windows filebrowsers (e.g.,
Windows Explorer and the open and save common dialogs), but they have
no special meaning to the filesystem.  In contrast, Mac OS X aliases
do have filesystem-level magic.  I don't know the details of the
behavior of the POSIX filesystem interface (which rsync is using) on
Mac OS X aliases, and I doubt this behavior is very well documented.

I'm not sure what to recommend except that it might be useful to
compare what happens with and without "--eahfs".  Does anyone have
more information about Mac OS X aliases?


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