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I want to copy files while they are in use by an application to a separate directory on my Ubuntu system. These files in the source directory should be in continuous synchronization with their copies in the target directory. The sync should be so seamless that I should be able to run another instance of the application on the target directory.

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    Sounds like you are looking for a hard link. If so cp -l source destination should do it. – finswimmer Feb 8 at 9:55
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    Are the two directories on the same partition? – Kusalananda Feb 8 at 10:22
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    Is it possible to run two instances of the same application (which?) on the same set of files without problems? If not you might get the same problems or even more when you use a copy of the data. (What if both instances want to modify the same file? What if a modification was partially written because it is cached in memory?) – Bodo Feb 8 at 10:41

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