[lug] strange filesystem behavior

Davide Del Vento davide.del.vento at gmail.com
Wed Apr 13 13:28:26 MDT 2016

The point with syslinked directories is that if you have


which is a syslink to


and you cd into /foo/bar/baz, then when you do "cd .." or "ls .." in one
case you go to /foo/bar/ in the other you go /whatever/the/ (forgot

I noticed it pretty early when I encountered syslink'ed directories years
ago, and never investigated further, just learnt to live with it.

On Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 1:17 PM, Michael Hirsch <mdhirsch at gmail.com> wrote:

> Can anyone explain this?  The owners of this system use a lot of
> symlinks to play weird games with their files.  For instance, in the
> directory used below, /var/tmp/jobsched/jaws/conf the last entry,
> conf, is actually a symlink into another filesystem entirely.  But I
> still don't understand how this is possible.
> Consider this:
> bash-4.1$ pwd
> /var/tmp/jobsched/jaws/conf
> bash-4.1$ ls ../../../..
> autosys_api  common  daemon         jaws.sh            jboss  log
> sbin     sdk
> batch        config  import_export  jaws.sh.vmoptions  lib    README
> scripts  tools
> bash-4.1$ cd ../../../..
> bash-4.1$ ls
> account  cvs    etscfg  lib    lost+found  mqm.client  phd        run
>    VRTSat_lhc  yp
> adm      db     ftp     local  lum         nis         preserve
> spool   VRTSvcs     zapplets
> cache    db2    games   lock   mail        openv       prodperim  tmp
>  vx
> crash    empty  gdm     log    mqm         opt         redhat     VRTSat
> vxvm
> So when I "ls ../../../.." ls sees a bunch of file, starting with
> "autosys_api" and "common".  But if I cd to that directory ls sees a
> completely different set of files.
> I didn't think that symlinks and filesystems worked like this.  I
> expected to see the same files in the two "ls" commands.
> What is making this happen?  What am I missing.
> Thanks,
> Michael
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