[Samba] Circular links and backups

damiend at mckennagroup.co.uk damiend at mckennagroup.co.uk
Fri Jan 18 12:23:45 GMT 2008

this is easy one to fix simply don't follow symlinks

adding the following to smb.conf under the share definition should stop it.

follow symlinks = no


Damien Dye BSC(hon)
IT and Telecommunications Engineer
Mckenna Group
Lawn Road Industrial Estate
Lawn Road
United Kingdom
S81 9LB

Email  : damiend at mckennagroup.co.uk
Tel    : (44) 01909541414
Direct : (44) 01909541462
Fax    : (44) 01909541415
Web    : www.mckennagroup.co.uk

Company Registered in England,
Company Registration Number 1713320
Registered address Lawn Road, Carlton-in-Lindrick, Worksop, Notts, S81 9LB

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Samba] Circular links and backups (18-Jan-2008 1:53)
From:    sgifford at suspectclass.com
To:      damiend at mckennagroup.co.uk

> Hello,
> I ran into an interesting problem earlier today.  I have a Unix
> machine I maintain in a largely Windows shop.  They use Windows Backup
> for their backups, and so I created a readonly share of the entire
> filesystem with one user, "backup", who is an admin user.  This lets
> them back up the entire Unix machine by attaching to the "backup"
> share, but nothing can be changed.  So far so good.
> I'm backing up just essential files on the system, "/etc", "/home",
> and "/usr/local".  We started running the backup, and it first
> estimated 3GB, which is about right.  As it ran, though, it kept
> increasing its estimate; we stopped it at about 20GB.  Closer
> inspection showed that it was confused by circular links to
> directories.
> The default Apache configuration on our system has a circular link,
> with "/etc/apache/conf" -> "/etc/apache".  I believe this is for
> compatibility, since Apache configuration files used to be in
> "/etc/apache/conf", but that's beside the point.  This is installed by
> the OS, so I'm reluctant to remove it, since other packages could
> depend on it being present.
> The problem was that circular link.  Samba would resolve the symlink
> for the client, and so the client would recurse into a directory it
> was already in, and so just keep backing up forever.
> I looked at disabling symlinks, but the docs said this will return
> errors when they are read.  I suspect this would upset the backup
> software.
> Does anybody have a suggestion for dealing with this?
> Thanks,
> ---Scott.
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