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On Linux, I created a file (file1):

echo Hello file1 > file1

Then, I created a symbolic link (file2), to file1:

ln -s file1 file2

After that, I removed file1:

rm file1

Lastly, I edited file2 to be different:

echo Changed file2 > file2

After all of these steps were executed, I observed that file1 and file2 now contain "Changed file2".

From what I understand, after file1 is removed, the symbolic link (file2) no longer works. However, the interesting part which I hope to get an answer to, is that editing file2 causes file1 to be restored (despite file1 being removed earlier on).

Thank you very much for your time.

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The first file, file1, was not actually restored by your process. It was instead created when you ran echo Changed file2 > file2. file2 was a link to a then-non-existent file file1; a symlink does not have to point to an existing file. Because it was a symlink, the system resolved it and redirected the output of the echo command to file1, creating that file, and leaving the file2 symlink in place pointing to file1.

  • Lovely, appreciate the quick response. I should have been more careful with my words about it being created instead of being restored. Thank you! – infinityr00t Apr 14 at 14:12

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