Is there any way to have 2 files of the same name in different folders, and any time a change is made to one of the files, the same change is automatically implemented in the other?


If the two files are located on the same filesystem (i.e., not on two different partitions), then you could create one file as a hard link:

ln /path/to/one_file /path/somewhere/other_file

After having done this, /path/to/one_file and /path/somewhere/other_file are two names for exactly the same file. If you delete one, the contents will still be available through the other name.

This would work for as long as a program does not unlink one of the files and re-creates it.

Likewise, you could create a symbolic link from one name to the other:

ln -s /path/to/one_file /path/somewhere/other_file

In this case, it's /path/to/one_file that contains the actual data, while /path/somewhere/other_file is just a "pointer" (symbolic link) to it.

This does not require that the two paths are on the same filesystem, but if a program unlinks the symbolic link and recreates it as a file, the association is broken, just as for hard links.

  • This works. While trying it out, I noticed that even in the case of the hard link, /path/to/one_file has to be the file that contains the actual data.(OS - Debian Stable) – Pratyush Das May 28 '18 at 20:07
  • @PratyushDas Try it a few times and play around with it. When you create a hard link you create a new name for the file contents. The data is then stored under both names, not in one or the other location. – Kusalananda May 28 '18 at 20:09
  • That makes sense. I was a little confused because I deleted /path/to/one_file (only /path/somewhere/other_file exists after this) before reloading my configuration, and got the error that the particular file does not exist. Thanks. – Pratyush Das May 28 '18 at 20:12

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