Will uploading the contents of a symlink be supported?

I want to maintain my desktop's file structure (~/Documents/books ~/Documents/uni etc) but I want I also want to sync them with the remote host. I don't want to have two copies of the same file to upload it e.g. ~/Documents/books/book.epub and ~/owncloud/book.epub. I use the linux client.

I've tried symlinks: hardlinks can't do folders and softlinks aren't uploaded by the client.

Seems to me like you want the whole "home" folder to be synced in ownCloud, right?

no, just certain subfolders that I need to access on the go.

I want to keep the structure of my files ~/Documents/books/book1.pdf and ~/Documents/books/notes/book1-withnotes.pdf. I want a the mirrored copy of files or directories(and their contents) to be uploaded so that I can keep my directory structure and have it uploaded too.

I have just tested something, don't know if it's that what you want.

I have installed the sync client on my ubuntu system. While setting up the client, I choose my home folder as the sync folder with the option of keeping existing data.

Now I get all the files and folders synced in ownCloud without having to duplicate my files on upload.

If I don't want all my folders synced, I can unselect them from sync.

thanks! this is a sensible solution.

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Glad it works for you :slight_smile:

It is just incredible, and frustrating, how the programmers of owncloud just keep explaining to numerous users, how bad, impossible, not important, etc. it is to synchronise symlinks (just the reference, not the content).

Dear programmers: the users know best what they need, and this is a feature many, many users would like to have. Or better, in the meantime numerous users have discontinued using owncloud because of this feature missing.

Please introduce the synchronisation of symlinks: they do not have to work across platforms, and they do not have to synchronise content, but just be synchronised as “references” to files and folders, so when they are used on another computer on the same OS, they do work as symlinks again.

Without that feature, owncloud is just a no go for any users needing that feature!!!

It seems that a perfectly valid solution was described for the original requester. Symlinks were not a requirement at all, just a technical implementation which can be done easily in a better and more flexible way as per the above.
Did you open/discuss your usecase with symlinks in github? Which issue?

The client is a cross-platform solution and keep in mind that many, many users are using it in many capabilities and the client runs 95%+ on MS Windows … And there is a fundamental usage of WebDAV as protocol, which might or might not be able to handle symlinks, but as usual I really like to understand the use case first, please ellaborate and help me/us understand.


I descibed this request other times (first time years ago), and found out that many others wished the same feature. It has never been implemented.
Note that Dropbox perfectly meets this behaviour, wich works perfectly across all platforms.

Here it is:

  • Symlinks are synchronised, but not the content they are pointing to. Only the reference is synchronised.
  • The result is: they work on devices that have the same file structure, when they find a referenced target; when the target does not exist, they are just “references”.
  • When synchronised back, or to a device with original structure, the links work again because the target exists.
  • So working across different platforms does not create any problems, they are just files with no meaning for other platforms, but when synched back they work again.

If you want so, you can make it an option, but please implement it finally.

For now, owncloud is no option for me, since synching symlinks is vital for a good working synching system.

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Hm, I found this on Dropbox: http://www.paulingraham.com/dropbox-and-symlinks.html but you seem to describe a different behaviour there?

Note that Dropbox perfectly meets this behaviour, wich works perfectly across all platforms.
Here it is:
Symlinks are synchronised, but not the content they are pointing to. Only the reference is synchronised.

Isn’t the same the case with ownCloud? I tried it today and sure enough, my test symlink was synchronised.

Actually, I was trying to sync a hardlink. This also worked (initially) – but when I edited the synced remote copy of the hardlinked file, while the local copy was updated as well, the link to the hardlink source file was cut, such that the original source file wasn’t synced anymore :frowning:

Thanks for ideas on how to sync hardlinks!

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i did the following search https://github.com/owncloud/client/search?q=symlink&type=Issues and found various open issues about symlinks reported to the ownCloud team. But if i’m understanding these correctly there are no plans by the ownCloud team to sync the contents of a symlink. Instead it seems they are just planning to sync just the symlink itself with the next minor release of the sync client:

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