I deal (both as a user and as an administrator) with large data
files. I or other users often want to grab a copy of a file that
belongs to a colleague so we can look at it too. A symlink is no good
because the colleague may want to remove the file shortly after
A copy is no good because the file is big. A gigabyte here, a gigabyte
there, sooner or later it adds up to real space.
A hard link is the ideal solution. Many users can "lock" the file so
that they will retain access to it without consuming more space. When
each user has lost interest, the space is reclaimed.
As a sysadmin, I prefer to make a few very large filesystems rather
than many smaller ones (where small >= 2 GiB) for data storage, so
that hard linking can be done frequently.
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