SUMMARY: what SHOULD be a simple question... how do I copy a link?

From: Marc S. Gibian (
Date: Thu Aug 15 1996 - 15:17:19 CDT

As expected, I have recieved a wealth of replies. They all fall into 2
catagories... Ahm, actually, they all fall into 3 catagories... 4 CATAGORIES,
thats it, they all fall into 4 catagories:

1. Use a tar pipe a'la "cd dir1; tar cf - . | (cd dir2; tar xvfBp - )", by far
the most popular.

2. Write a new account script and don't worry about trying to copy a link.

3. What you doing this yourself for! Use the /etc/skel mechanism... but watch
out, Greg Polanski points out that admintool uses 'cp -r' which we already know
DOES NOT preserve symbolic links :-(

4. rdist, that's the ticket...

Oh, any chance of avoiding those cc:Mail attachments... my CDE 1.0.1 dtmail
reads them about 50% of the time, though its a pain to wait for it to open a
seperate window just to read more text?

No one remembers a command to copy a link so that must be one of those false
memories, manufactured by my need to find something simple to do this.

My original question is attached...

My thanks to: (Shaun)
Fedor Gnuchev <> (Shane Bouslough) (Jochen Bern) (Russ Poffenberger)
Laurent Duperval <laurent@Grafnetix.COM>
karen@ecomon1.FMR.Com (Karen Barrett)
Milt Webb <>
Wis Macomson <> (Mattias Zhabinskiy) (Gregory M Polanski)
"Win Htin" <> (Marina Daniels)
Claus Assmann <> (Steve Ehrhardt) (Paul Hatcher)
Richard Aures <>
Charles Best <>
A.Chan@CdnAir.CA (Alan Chan)

Marc S. Gibian
Telos Consulting Services phone: (617) 377-6350
PRISM/TFS email:

attached mail follows:

I have been searching various archives for far too long for this question, so I
tried to avoid sending this (and wanted to avoid RTFM replies):

I am setting up a prototype of our standard home directory tree. As a means of
saving space, and to allow automatic updating of those files users can not
modify on their own, I am linking some files to the prototype home directory
rather than copying them. Additionally, some items in the prototype are symbolic
links to other locations. For this latter catagory, I would like to simply copy
the link from the prototype directory into each new user's home directory. I am
pretty sure there was a very simple way to do this many years ago, but now that
I need to do it again, I can't come up with it. The "best" I can do right now is
to setup a pipe to echo the filename to cpio, and that is not very satisfying.


Marc S. Gibian
Telos Consulting Services phone: (617) 377-6350
PRISM/TFS email:

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