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LNDIR(1) OpenBSD Reference Manual LNDIR(1)
lndir - create a shadow directory of symbolic links to another
lndir [-e exceptfile] [-s] [-i] [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 re-
al 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, in ad-
dition to any specified on the command line with -e arguments.
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 -i flag changes this behavior.
-e exceptfile Add the specified file to the list of excluded files/di-
rectories. This is effective in all directories searched
by lndir. This option may be specified as many times as
-s Suppresses status messages normally output as lndir de-
scends into each subdirectory.
-i 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
This option exists mostly to emulate the behavior the C
version of lndir had in X11R6. Its use is not recommend-
The program displays the name of each subdirectory it enters, followed by
a colon. The -s 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(1) program gets upset if it cannot change the files. You
should never run patch(1) 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 in-
stance). Something like
find . \! -type d -print
will find all files that are not directories.
find(1), ln(1), patch(1)
lndir was first distributed as part of X11.
This version first appeared in OpenBSD 1.2.
OpenBSD 2.6 June 21, 1997 2
Source: OpenBSD 2.6 man pages. Copyright: Portions are copyrighted by BERKELEY
SOFTWARE DESIGN, INC., The Regents of the University of California, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Free Software Foundation, FreeBSD Inc., and others.
(Corrections, notes, and links courtesy of RocketAware.com)
OpenBSD sources for lndir(1)
Up to: Directory Access - Accessing directories of files, browsing, management, et al.
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