Visible symlinks under Windows

George Colley gcolley at
Wed Feb 6 17:35:01 GMT 2008

I assume you could use the Conrad-Steve French method of handling  
symlinks. Assuming there is no way for you to implement the UNIX  
extension calls to the server.

Not sure if Steve has it documented or not. If not let me know and I  
will get you the lay out.

On Feb 6, 2008, at 3:27 AM, Corinna Vinschen wrote:

> Hi,
> as Cygwin developer, it's sort of frustrating that there isn't a way  
> to
> identify symlinks on Samba shares from a Windows user space  
> application
> for what they really are.
> While most Windws applications have no idea how to handle symlinks,
> that's obviously not the case for a Linux emulator.  However, right  
> now,
> due to the fact that Cygwin has no idea how to create a symlink on a
> Samba share, it always creates fake symlinks on a Samba share which  
> only
> work in the Windws environment, and it only recognizes symlinks as  
> files
> or directories, depending on the target of the symlink.
> If there would be a way to identify a symlink and to create real
> symlinks on a Samba share, Cygwin would happily handle them.
> So I'm wondering, is there any interest to implement another extension
> along the lines of the changes to the SMB_FS_OBJECTID_INFORMATION  
> reply,
> which would allow a "knowing" Win32 application to retrieve the actual
> symlink file information as well as allowing it to create real  
> symlinks?
> If so, the question is, how could that be done?  I had the following  
> idea:
> We could fake an Extended Attribute which contain the symlink  
> information.
> When requesting a symlink's file information, it could return an EA
> called, say, ".smb.symlink".  The EA value consists of the relevant
> parts of the content of the stat buffer returned by lstat, plus the
> target path of the symlink in UNIX path notation.
> Creating a symlink could work by creating a simple file with an
> EA in the EA list, called, say, ".smb.symlink.create".  The value is
> the target path in UNIX path notation.  Given that ZwCreateFile (and  
> its
> SMB protocol counterpart) allows to define EAs at file creation time,
> creating a symlink would be a simple one step operation.
> Would a patch to accomplish that have a chance to be included in  
> Samba?
> Thanks,
> Corinna

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