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lndir - create a shadow directory of symbolic links to another directory tree


lndir [ -silent ] [ -ignorelinks ] fromdir [ todir ]


The lndir program makes a shadow copy todir of a directory tree fromdir, except that the shadow is not populated with real files but instead with symbolic links pointing at the real files in the fromdir directory tree. This is usually useful for maintaining source code for different machine architectures. You create a shadow directory containing links to the real source, which you will have usually mounted from a remote machine. You can build in the shadow tree, and the object files will be in the shadow directory, while the source files in the shadow directory are just symlinks to the real files.

This scheme has the advantage that if you update the source, you need not propagate the change to the other architectures by hand, since all source in all shadow directories are symlinks to the real thing: just cd to the shadow directory and recompile away.

The todir argument is optional and defaults to the current directory. The fromdir argument may be relative (e.g., ../src) and is relative to todir (not the current directory).

Note that RCS, SCCS, CVS and CVS.adm directories are not shadowed.

If you add files, simply run lndir again. New files will be silently added. Old files will be checked that they have the correct link.

Deleting files is a more painful problem; the symlinks will just point into never never land.

If a file in fromdir is a symbolic link, lndir will make the same link in todir rather than making a link back to the (symbolic link) entry in fromdir. The -ignorelinks flag changes this behavior.


Normally lndir outputs the name of each subdirectory as it descends into it. The -silent option suppresses these status messages.
Causes the program to not treat symbolic links in fromdir specially. The link created in todir will point back to the corresponding (symbolic link) file in fromdir. If the link is to a directory, this is almost certainly the wrong thing.
This option exists mostly to emulate the behavior the C version of
lndir had in X11R6. Its use is not recommended.


The program displays the name of each subdirectory it enters, followed by a colon. The -silent option suppresses these messages.

A warning message is displayed if the symbolic link cannot be created. The usual problem is that a regular file of the same name already exists.

If the link already exists but doesn't point to the correct file, the program prints the link name and the location where it does point.


The patch program gets upset if it cannot change the files. You should never run patch from a shadow directory anyway.

You need to use something like

    find todir -type l -print | xargs rm
to clear out all files before you can relink (if fromdir moved, for instance). Something like
     find . \! -type d -print
will find all files that are not directories.

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