Re: Proposal: restrict link(2)

Michael Elizabeth Chastain (
Sun, 15 Dec 1996 13:42:14 -0600

Harald Koenig asked for legitimate uses of using link(2) to link
to other people's files.

Here is one. Several years ago, I worked for a company that had an
in-house source control system that worked like this: the 'source' user
owned the current stable version of the source. Each developer made
links to the entire source tree, making hard links for every file.

As a developer edited files, he or she would remove the hard link and
write a private version.

This is like a home-made translucent file system.

This system has its advantages and disadvantages (primary advantage: it
was very economical on disk space). Those aren't important. What is
important is this was a real-life application of hard links to files
that the person making the link doesn't own.

By the way, I favor 'must be owner or super-user to link to a file'
as a mount-time option, with the default being off.

Michael Chastain