I'm synchronizing a folder structure between my MacBook (OS X 10.6) and a PC with Windows XP (soon Linux or Windows 7).

My problem is that Windows shortcuts or OS X aliases seem to be unusable on the other system, so those symbolic links can not be synchronized with the other machine.

  • Is there a common format for symbolic links which works on all 3 operating systems (Windows, OS X, Linux)?
  • Can I convert the existing aliases and Windows shortcuts to this format?
  • symbolic links are the same in OS X and Linux - aliases are not symbolic links
    – mmmmmm
    Dec 29, 2014 at 12:39
  • what about MS WIndows? and can I "convert" aliases into symlinks? Dec 29, 2014 at 13:06
  • 1
    No an OS X axis has more info than a symlink - it will change if you move the thing it points to via the finder, a symlink just contains a text path name to where you first create the link (not the symlink contains a Unix path whilst a NTFS shortcut is a Windows path possibly including a drive letter - how can you map that to a Unix path) Some symlinks can map to Windows shortcuts but definitely not all Also not HFS+ has hard directory links that do not map to other filesystems
    – mmmmmm
    Dec 29, 2014 at 13:13

1 Answer 1


sync application may be the good choice sometime, I recommend you BitTorrent Sync, is An Application to keep designated folder content same on more devices. Changes should be propagated to all the device that keep the folder synchronized.

  • does BitTorrent Sync also sync symbolic links, so that they are usable on the different operating systems (in Finder/Windows Explorer)? That is my real question, I'm currently using Unison File Synchronizer for sync'ing Dec 29, 2014 at 12:29
  • 1
    I don't think it can
    – nelson
    Dec 29, 2014 at 12:36

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