[tex-live] Copying symbolic links to Windows

Siep Kroonenberg siepo at cybercomm.nl
Fri Aug 24 12:01:24 CEST 2007

On Thu, Aug 23, 2007 at 05:48:17PM -0400, poti at potis.org wrote:
> I am having some difficulty with symbolic links. I have included 
> TeX Live 2007 on a DVD (statlive.org) which is designed to be a 
> cross-platform integrated development environment which has been 
> well received at conferences this summer. In principle, it would 
> be nice if the directory containing the necessary files could be 
> copied onto a PC hard drive (effectively installing the GNU operating 
> system user experience without the kernel) and back onto removable
> media from such a hard drive. 
> The problem is, to maintain the cross-platform feature and to 
> avoid the need for an installer, I need to copy Linux and OSX
> symbolic links (for example, those in the TeXLive2007/bin/*-darwin 
> directories).
> On some PCs, I can do this (I am at a Windows XP pc where I just did), and 

Are you sure? A quick Google search suggested that before Vista
symlinks or junctions were available only for directories, and hard
links for files.

sysinternals.com has tools for manipulating junctions; see under
File & Disk Utilities.

By the way. It makes me mad that Microsoft bitches about their
intellectual property whereas they keep adopting more Unix features,
implicitly admitting that all along Unix was right and they were
wrong. So their intellectual property mainly cover botched solutions
to problems that were already solved right in Unix. Sorry for the

> on others, I cannot (e.g. a brand new, off the shelf, Windows Vista laptop
> and a Windows Server 2003). Unzipping a zip archive containing such links
> also fails, even on the PC where I can copy the links. It seems to be 
> an issue with permissions or security settings of some sort. If someone 
> who has already payed the price of learning the intricacies of Windows could 
> suggest where I could look to learn how such symbolic links 
> (not the new Vista symbolic links, unless the procedure is the same) can 
> be handled, I would be very grateful.
> -Poti

Siep Kroonenberg

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