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Editing a hard link to a file

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created 2008 · complexity basic · author Metacosm · version 7.0


On Unix-based systems, the shell command ln x y creates y as a hard link to file x. There is only a single file, so if you edit y, you will also change x.

If wanted, you can configure Vim so that it will break hard links whenever a file is written, providing a backup is made. In that case, editing y would automatically remove the link, and create a separate file, leaving x unchanged. The Vim command (in vimrc) is:

set backupcopy=auto,breakhardlink

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