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Might be a pretty obvious one but have had some trouble finding solid answers.

I have a directory on a windows network share containing different versions of an application. I would like to have a link to one of these called 'current', which will be a symbolic link to the directory sitting beside all the other versions and pointing to one of these.

Creating this link seems to be more of an issue than I would have thought. Looks like symlink only shows the link on the same machine as where it was created (which is not going to work for obvious reasons) and junction needs to be run on the server which is practically impossible due to various restrictions.

What would be the best way to go about this? Would I just need to copy the files twice or can I have a symbolic link which can be created and accessed remotely?

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2 Answers

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If you can get remote access to the server (Administrator rights might be required), you can create a hardlink to a file, or a junction to a folder, as you discovered. The Windows file-sharing protocol has 0 support for filesystem links, so you cannot create them over a standard mapped drive or remote share.

I would expect a symbolic link to show up over a share and function after it is created, provided that the user viewing the share has permissions to see the link, but as I mentioned above you cannot create the symbolic link on a remote share. A similar question was asked where the user resolved to use psexec to remotely execute commands to create the links on his server - this requires administrative permissions, though.

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This is what I feared. This is exactly what I was doing before but this solution will no longer work for us as we do not have access to the box as you mentioned. Thanks for confirming. –  Blueberry Oct 23 '12 at 15:37
    
You can actually create a symbolic link on a remote share, but only if you have administrator access. –  Harry Johnston Oct 23 '12 at 18:56
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If (and only if) you have administrator access to the server, you can create a symbolic link remotely. However, it won't work by default, since remote symlink support first has to be enabled on the client(s). This is for security reasons.

You can enable remote-to-remote symlinks on a client with the following command:

fsutil behavior set SymlinkEvaluation R2R:1

You can turn it off again like this:

fsutil behavior set SymlinkEvaluation R2R:0

To see the current settings:

fsutil behavior SymlinkEvaluation
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