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

John Roth johnroth1 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 24 18:22:21 CET 2012


On Feb 23, 2:11 pm, Terry Reedy <tjre... at udel.edu> wrote:
> On 2/23/2012 2:34 PM, HoneyMonster wrote:
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> > On Thu, 23 Feb 2012 14:24:23 -0500, Jerry Hill wrote:
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> >> On Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 2:11 PM, HoneyMonster
> >> <some... 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 $
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> >>> I'm just curious: Why two identical files rather than a symlink?
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> >> It's not two files, it's a hardlink.  You can confirm by running ls -li
> >> python* and comparing the inode numbers.
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> > You are spot on. Thank you, and sorry for my stupidity.
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> The question 'why a hardlink rather than symlink' is not stupid. It was
> part of the discussion ofhttp://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

I believe the changes for PEP 394 are using symlinks. The distro
maintainer can, of course, change that.

John Roth



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