SPUG: Fixing Cygwin broken links

Aaron West tallpeak at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 21 05:30:31 PDT 2005

If you find your Cygwin links don't work (eg. some commands do nothing or get stuck in a loop):

For some reason, my latest Cygwin install created nonworking links. So I converted each tiny file containing <symlink> at the start to a real symlink. It's simple enough to write that I'm not sure it's worth posting, nor if anyone else has seen this same problem, but here it is. There's no error-checking; use at your own risk. 200 is arbitrary, and a bit large, but it seems reasonably safe to assume that a file starting with <symlink> less than 200 bytes is supposed to be a symlink (not a regular file).

$ cd / ; find . -xdev -name "*bin" -type d  -exec sh -c 'echo {}; cd {}; fixlinks.pl' \;

$ cat /usr/bin/fixlinks.pl
while($filename = <*>)
                = stat($filename);
        if ($size < 200 && (($mode & (S_IFREG | S_IFLNK)) == S_IFREG) )
                open FH, "<$filename";
                $firstline = <FH>;
                close FH;
                chomp $firstline;
                if ($firstline =~ /^\!\<symlink\>(.*)/)
                        print "ln -s $1 $filename\n";
                        unlink $filename;
                        symlink $1, $filename;
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