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 will span the entire disk. Inodes contain some metadata which corresponds to aspects of the MS-DOS FAT.

Some Unix systems utilize "fast symlinks" if the symlink is small enough (less than 50 characters or so), which are kept in the inode; otherwise, for longer symlinks, those are stored as data in sectors just like a normal file would be.

--
-Chuck

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