In short: don't bother using the hard links.
Hardlink are rarely used (maybe due to legacy unix bugs, who knows), so let see the advantages of hard links, and what scenario could require that feature.
- less space consumption (just the inode entry): could be useful if your requirements impose usage of gazillions of links
file reference counting: Within the same filesystem, you can create multiple directory structures containing hard-linked files. It enables you to:
- have multiple thematic directory structures (
- even create backup snapshots as seen here
- reorganize, rename and delete your documents without naming troubles
Ohh.. you think it's nice ? perfect directory structures for me ? well no..
It will depends on the application used, but when some paranoïd application will save your files, they will do, instead of overwriting it :
- create a new file and write to that file
- on success : swap the new and existing file with renaming, delete the old file
- on failure, data is left unchanged
So, your multiple file names pointing to the same data are now pointing to different data, and you simply cannot tell the difference.