Junction: symbolic directory links on Windows

September 13, 2010
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Windows 2000 and higher supports directory symbolic links, where a directory serves as a symbolic link to another directory on the computer. […]Directory symbolic links are known as NTFS junctions in Windows. Unfortunately, Windows comes with no tools for creating junctions—you have to purchase the Win2K Resource Kit, which comes with the linkd program for creating junctions. I therefore decided to write my own junction-creating tool: Junction

We find junction userful to configure an environment. It can be used also on old windows xp boxes, so it is a very nice tool but be sure to understand them well: we read from “Manually creating junction points in Windows XP“:

[….] you can indeed delete the folder acting as the junction point from within Windows Explorer or from the command line with the Del command. However, rather than just deleting a junction point, these commands can actually delete the target directory and all subdirectories. So it’s extremely important that you use the steps in this article when it’s time to remove or change your junction points.

Furthermore, keep in mind that junction points can cause havoc with certain utilities, such as backup programs, that aren’t junction-point aware. You might also notice that the Dir command reports odd free-space statistics on drives that contain folders acting as junction points.

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2 Responses to Junction: symbolic directory links on Windows

  1. Marco on September 13, 2010 at 7:02

    “These are not the *links* you’re looking for.”

  2. Giovanni Giorgi on September 13, 2010 at 12:47

    The junction seems a sort of symbolic link, but the implementation is prety similar to an hard link instead.

    If you create a juntion t2 of a folder t1, deleting t2 do not delete t1 or its content.

    Anyway, deleting t2aFile, delete also t1aFile.

    Finally, it is not possible to create junction on files but only on directory (at least with "junction").

    This is also reflected by the name of the original MS tool ("linkd")

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