Add support for creating native windows symlinks

Russell Davis
Sun Dec 4 21:07:00 GMT 2011

Hi Andy, thanks for the response.

> - Native links can't point to special Cygwin paths such as /proc and
> /dev, although I guess that could be fudged.

They can, they just won't work when non-cygwin apps try to use them
(perhaps what you're eluding to with the fudging). This is no worse
than the status quo with cygwin's non-native symlinks -- non-cygwin
apps can't follow those either. Verified as working with the original

> - If the meaning of the POSIX path changes due to Cygwin mount point
> changes, native symlinks won't reflect that and point to the wrong
> thing.

Good point, but surely this must already be the case with
shortcut-style symlinks (via CYGWIN=winsymlinks) as well? For a lot of
users I think this will never be an issue, for the rest it can be
documented as a known limitation.

> - Native relative links can't cross drive boundaries, whereas relative
> POSIX paths can reach the whole filesystem.

As with the first point, they can still do this, it just won't work
outside of cygwin.

In summary, this approach does have limitations, but I don't think any
of them are worse than the status quo. In addition, it would be a an
optional feature that would be disabled by default, just like
winsymlinks. Seems like a net benefit for users who understand it and
want to use it.


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