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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Oslo
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    57

    Question Full path of target folder using symlinks

    Hi,

    I have several symlinks to different folders. If I open now one of those symlinks in Nautilus, I don't see the full path of the target folder in the address bar, but instead the path of the symlink with the target folder.

    f.ex.
    The symlink is pointing to a folder called Backup, which is located at /mnt/Backup.
    The symlink itself is stored on the desktop, /home/user/Desktop.

    When I now open the symlink on the desktop, I see the following path in the address bar of the window: /home/user/Desktop/Backup.

    How can I get the actual path of the target folder shown? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Canberra
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    2,708

    Re: Full path of target folder using symlinks

    Nautilus is a bit of a moving target so your mileage may vary as they say:

    Right click on the link, select Properties, look for "Link Target"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Oslo
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    57

    Re: Full path of target folder using symlinks

    I had a look in the properties before, and it is based as well on the path of the symlink /home/user/Desktop/Backup, instead of the target folder.

    I would like to be able to choose another level in the path of the target folder through the address bar after opening a symlink.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Canberra
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    2,708

    Re: Full path of target folder using symlinks

    This is what mine looks like:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screenshot from 2017-12-04 22-36-08.png 
Views:	12 
Size:	66.7 KB 
ID:	29256

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Oslo
    Posts
    57

    Re: Full path of target folder using symlinks

    ok, thanks for the screenshot. I figured out why the path in the properties was wrong. I made a symlink based on another symlink. That happened because I was not able to see the full path in the address bar of the first symlink and created from there another symlink.

    Is this a general feature or bug of nautilus that the path of the target folder is not displayed?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    2,708

    Re: Full path of target folder using symlinks

    I think it's some misguided attempt to make it "simple".
    Logically (for some simplified view) the linked directory is a subdirectory of the current directory (even though its really somewhere else).

    The problem with this approach is that it becomes more difficult for the new user to build an accurate mental model of what is going on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Oslo
    Posts
    57

    Re: Full path of target folder using symlinks

    Well, my impression was the purpose of a symbolic link is not having to go through the entire folder structure to get to your target. You could now argue that the link is indeed symbolic and not really a shortcut. If, logically the linked directory is a subdirectory of the current directory, you would not be able to tell from the path, if the folder was opened from a symlink or not. You would assume that the shown path is actually the path of the folder on your system. The location of the target folder does not change. Why displaying another path to the folder than its actual path. That is rather confusing and anything but logical to any user.

    Anyway, I found now a workaround by using an application launcher.

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