tar currently doesn't seem to be following symlinks when extracting, but
overwriting them. For example:
ln -s temp linux
tar xzf linux-2.3.99-pre3.tar.gz
...and you end up with linux as a real directory, instead of the files
being put in temp.
Am I on crack? - tested on a NetBSD box and this worked as expected.
I think the rationale is this:
If a file in a tar file is a symbolic link, it will be extracted as a symbolic
link. Otherwise, it won't. ;-)
If a file into a tar is in a directory, and that directory on the system is a
symlink, tar overwrites the link and changes it into a directory when you
extract the file. Tested on a RH 5.2, it doesn't do that and follows well the
symlink. It's probably a bug of gnu tar 1.13.17.
I suspect it's a posix compliacne fix actually... I'll check.
Yes, it's a POSIX feature, not a bug.