Re: sys_chown() hits symlinks

Stefan Monnier (monnier+lists/linux/kernel@TEQUILA.SYSTEMSZ.CS.YALE.EDU)
Sun, 18 Jan 1998 14:59:30 -0500

> > > Incorrect. Neither the owner nor the mode of a symlink have any
> > > effects, whatsoever.
> > And that's too bad !
> Why ?

Because if permissions were used, you wouldn't lose anything (that I can see)
since you could still make them r-xr-xr-x, but you could also protect
them which can be useful for symlinks into execute-only directories,
for instance.

> Because a symbolic link is merely a file system redirection. The permissions
> of what it redirects via and too apply.

In my view, a symlink is a file which happens to have a special meaning to the
OS. So the fact that its permissions and ownership are not respected make it
an exception hence my question: why was this exception invented and why hasn't
it been removed since then ?