I've paid my dues in Linux environments. But after a few months of not using a Linux box regularly little things slip from the top of your mind.
That's why I'm writing this miniature post. As a gentle reminder for all my colleagues and friends who are not perhaps currently living in la-l-, oh excuse me, Linux-land
I found myself needing to move some files across a fairly intricate network path today. Maybe I'll blame that distraction as the reason why I had to double-check my commands to tarball the darn directories!
As I said above, I've spent my time in the dark underbelly of the terminal. Which served to make it even more perplexing when the directory I was compressing went from over 200 megabytes to 38k. I'm sorry tar utility. You're good but that's just not possible. So off I go to look at what's missing.
Lo and behold, there are link files in some of the subdirectories instead of folders... you know, with files. What the -h%#!
Fortunately my subconscious called out (let's call him Linus, just for today), "links?! that reminds me of that term we learned in that place that smelled like white board cleaner and electrical fires. What was it, oh, symbolic links!". Right, so basically my tar command was copying what was in the folders more literally than I had hoped. Whatever occurred in my subconscious after I claim no credit for. I do know my arrow key went up once and I added an 'h' to the other tar parameters.
For the love of -h <3 Symbolic links were now followed, subfolder contents were compressed and I can await the file transfer in peace with a well deserved cup of joe.
Thanks, letter H.
post-script ~ postulate: I have been reading with my five year old a lot. May be time to up the ante from early readers...