Just curious: why is /usr/bin/python not a symlink?

Terry Reedy tjreedy at udel.edu
Thu Feb 23 22:11:33 CET 2012


On 2/23/2012 2:34 PM, HoneyMonster wrote:
> On Thu, 23 Feb 2012 14:24:23 -0500, Jerry Hill wrote:
>
>> On Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 2:11 PM, HoneyMonster
>> <someone at someplace.invalid>  wrote:
>>> $ cd /usr/bin $ ls -l python*
>>> -rwxr-xr-x 2 root root 9496 Oct 27 02:42 python lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root
>>>     6 Oct 29 19:34 python2 ->  python -rwxr-xr-x 2 root root 9496 Oct 27
>>> 02:42 python2.7 $ diff -s  python python2.7 Files python and python2.7
>>> are identical $
>>>
>>> I'm just curious: Why two identical files rather than a symlink?
>>
>> It's not two files, it's a hardlink.  You can confirm by running ls -li
>> python* and comparing the inode numbers.
>
> You are spot on. Thank you, and sorry for my stupidity.

The question 'why a hardlink rather than symlink' is not stupid. It was 
part of the discussion of http://python.org/dev/peps/pep-0394/
The answer was 'history' and how things were 20 years ago and either the 
pep or the discussion around it says symlinks are fine now and the 
decision is up to distributors.

-- 
Terry Jan Reedy




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