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Symbolic links and hard links both make it possible for several file names to refer to the same file. Hard links are alternate names that refer directly to the file; all the names are equally valid, and no one of them is preferred. By contrast, a symbolic link is a kind of defined alias: when `foo' is a symbolic link to `bar', you can use either name to refer to the file, but `bar' is the real name, while `foo' is just an alias. More complex cases occur when symbolic links point to directories.
If you visit two names for the same file, normally Emacs makes two different buffers, but it warns you about the situation.
Normally, if you visit a file which Emacs is already visiting under
a different name, Emacs displays a message in the echo area and uses
the existing buffer visiting that file. This can happen on systems
that support symbolic links, or if you use a long file name on a
system that truncates long file names. You can suppress the message by
setting the variable
find-file-suppress-same-file-warnings to a
nil value. You can disable this feature entirely by setting
if you visit the same file under two different names, you get a separate
buffer for each file name.
If the variable
find-file-visit-truename is non-
then the file name recorded for a buffer is the file's truename
(made by replacing all symbolic links with their target names), rather
than the name you specify. Setting
implies the effect of
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