Create a Virtual File Gallery with Symlinks

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Creating a directory that is a union of several directories can be achieved with a few symlinks at the command line.

Here is how I am creating a virtual directory of all my projects that is a combination of both work and not-work projects. I am creating symlinks for every directory under ~/work and ~/git .

rm -rf ~/projects
mkdir ~/projects
ln -sf ~/work/* ~/projects
ln -sf ~/git/* ~/projects

⚠ Notice that first I am recreating the directory each time. This will ensure that any project that is deleted from their actual directory is removed from the virtual gallery.

Since links are always kept up to date without any extra work, all the data is still in the same place it started. But as new directories are added to any project directory they will not be automatically added to the virtual gallery.

If you're concerned about system resources, you can add it to a cron job to run at a regular schedule that makes sense to you. For me, I just popped those 4 lines right in my ~/.zshrc . It's a bit overkill, maybe bloat, but it runs in an impercieveable amount of time.

Automatically CD to the real directory

When you cd into a ~/projects/my-proj directory, your $PWD will still be ~/projects/my-proj . I did not want this for my use case. I wanted to follow the symlink to the real directory. I found two options that worked for me.

alias cd='cd -P'
set -o physical

Add either of these to your .bashrc / .zshrc to follow symlinks to the actual directory.



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