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1.3.6 Making links

One of the difficulties with having so many different variations on the theme of BSD and system 5 based operating systems is that similar files are not always where you expect to find them. They have different names or lie in different directories. The usual solution to the problem is to make an alias for these files, or a pointer from one filename to another. The name for such an alias is a symbolic link.

It is often very convenient to make symbolic links. For example, you might want the sendmail configuration file `/etc/sendmail.cf' to be a link to a global configuration file, say,
 
`/usr/local/mail/etc/sendmail.cf'

on every single host on your network so that there is only one file to edit. If you had to make all of these links yourself, it would take a lifetime. Cfagent will make such a link automatically and check it each time it is run. You can also ask it to tidy up old links which have been left around and no longer point to existing files. If you reinstall your operating system later it doesn't matter because all your links are defined in your cfagent configuration file, recorded for all time. Cfengine won't forget it, and you won't forget it because the setup is defined in one central place.

Cfagent will also allow you to make hard links to regular files, but not other kinds of file. A hard link to a symbolic link, is the same as a hard link to the file the symbolic link points to.


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