On Jun 6, 2006, at 10:49 PM, Dag Rune Sneeggen wrote:
So my question is; how does such activity affect the general health and operation of FreeBSD?


It doesn't, really. The OS will happily deference the symlinks you create as needed.

Also, the health of the harddrive(s) which will most likely be SATA disks.

Decent-quality disk drives shouldn't have any problems operating under continuous load, but some low-end "desktop" drives aren't rated for continuous operation. You should probably look into setting up a RAID-1, -10, or -5 configuration.

It is my understanding that symlinks only affects the file allocation table, and not the physical data blocks? This would mean that the impact isn't so terrible, as the changes will be contained to a relatively small part of the beginning of the disk, correct?

No, that is not correct.

The FFS doesn't have a single "file allocation table", it has inodes scattered throughout the various cylinder groups, which span the entire disk surface. Inodes contain some metadata which corresponds to portions of the MS-DOS FAT, and some systems implement small symlinks (aka "fast symlinks") within the inode entry, but longer symlinks are stored in the data blocks in a fashion similar to keeping text data in a normal file.

--
-Chuck

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