Subject: exporting symlinks
To: None <tech-kern@NetBSD.ORG>
From: None <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 05/28/1995 13:03:36

  Can somebody explain why are symbolic link not allowed in nfs exports ?

I can't remember the whole story (it was a rather involved email discussion
between Mike Karels, Jan-Simon Pendry and myself), but it revolved around
a problem that exporting symbolic links caused for amd.

The other argument was that using symbolic links in /etc/exports caused
confusion w.r.t. what underlying server file system was actually being
referred to. (There is also a problem when a symbolic link used in /etc/exports
is removed and possibly recreated pointing somewhere else, after mountd
has been started.) Since none of us could see why it was a problem to just
always use the underlying "real" directory path, that is what mountd
enforces. (It came about in part because amd had a need for "realpath" to
be used upon mount requests and at that point symbolic links in /etc/exports
would have to be either expanded before being exported or refused and the
latter was felt to be less likely to cause unexpected grief for sysadmins.
I know I have some Ultrix boxes around here with so many symbolic links
in the system dirs I usually have to keep doing "pwd" because I have no
idea where I really am:-)

Have fun, rick