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Is creating hardlinks from linux on a ntfs partition viable?

I have found a program that can make you save space by hardlinking files that are actually the same, thus leaving only one copy of the file on the file system with more than one hardlink pointing to it. The program is called hardlink.

This is very nice as I have at last found a way to save space on my backup disk for old backups I have made before I knew about rsync and incremental backups.

After such a lengthy introduction, any reader would expect a question, so here it is:

Would it be safe to use hardlinks to save space on a ntfs partition? The hardlinks would of course be created from Linux, using the hardlink program mentioned above. More precisely, will Windows (any version) be able to then use the files that would have been replaced by hardlinks?

Many thanks



There are hardlinks on Windows. They are created by the CreateHardLink system call in kernel32.dll. As to whether your hardlink program would work over remote shares, I wouldn’t know, but a native one or one from cygwin would.

Now the real question is whether or not Windows programs handle them. Even Windows Explorer fails to calculate disk space used for hardlinks correctly.

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