I have a Windows Server 2008 VM that hosts some files that are accessed by a mixture of Windows and Linux (Ubuntu 12.04) machines via a windows share. Due to space constraints on the VM host that the Sever 2008 machine, we want to move some of the older data that is infrequently accessed to a second host.

I copied the data over and set up a windows share on host 2. I then symlinked the old folder on host 1 to the UNC path for its new home on host 2. Now when I got to the host 1 share on a Windows machine, I can see the symlinked files as if they'd never moved (provided the client has enabled Remote to Remote symlinks as instructed here). However on the linux machines, I cannot persuade CIFS to follow the symlinks.

Am I missing something? Is this even possible?

  • If I'm understanding correct (that your samba server is the one hosting the share with teh symlink in it) make sure your smb.conf contains followsymlinks yes Mar 28, 2014 at 14:26

2 Answers 2


Unmount the share and issue this on the linux machine: echo 0 > /proc/fs/cifs/LinuxExtensionsEnabled

Remount and the symlinks should appear. It appears to be a bug.

  • nice find! never would have guessed that one
    – Richie086
    Mar 28, 2014 at 21:26
  • It doesn't seem to work for me, I still get ls: reading directory cifs2/remote/: Operation not supported after remounting.
    – Freaky Dug
    Apr 1, 2014 at 12:11
  • this did not work
    – PMat
    May 26, 2017 at 23:00

The answer from @nathan-c relates to an old bug of Samba which is already resolved. If you run into problems following symlinks created in Windows from Linux, it is because they where created with absolute paths. Try to re-create them with relative paths and it should work fine.

Look here: https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/147285

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