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My application needs to create a directory symbolic link in Windows XP to get around the file path length limitation of ~256 characters. Windows XP does not have this functionality built-in. I had chosen Junction from Sysinternals as a candidate to solve this issue. However, now legal is telling me that I cannot distribute Junction to my users; they would have to download it themselves. My problem is that my users are not connected to the internet and probably have too many bureaucratic hurdles to go through to get approval to download and transfer this software.

  1. Has anyone found an exception and legally distributed Sysinternals software like Junction?
  2. What free/open/libre alternative do I have for creating directory symbolic links in Windows XP?
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Surely it can't be that many Win32 API calls to do this. Have you checked? (That might be a better question for SO though...) –  Macke Jun 1 '11 at 14:32
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Note that Junction is a command-line frontend to the symbolic link functionality, so it should be possible to implement this using Win32 API - but that might be time-consuming. Alternately, could the installer download the tool? –  Piskvor Jun 1 '11 at 15:21
    
@Piskvor Nice idea, but the users are in a tightly controlled environment. The users will not be connected to the internet. To download the software, they would have to get permission to download Junction, find a computer that is connected to the internet, download the software, burn it to a CD, and then install the software. It would be nice to save the users the hassle. –  BennyMcBenBen Jun 1 '11 at 15:29
    
Does Legal have a reason you can't distribute it? Knowing the reason, we might be able to come up with a good counter-argument. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Jun 1 '11 at 15:36
    
@FrustratedWithFormsDesigner, see the second link:"Q: May I distribute Sysinternals utilities in my software, on my website, or with my magazine? A: No. We are not offering any distribution licenses, even if the 3rd party is distributing them for free. We encourage people to download the utilities from our download center where they can be assured to get the most recent version of the utility." –  BennyMcBenBen Jun 1 '11 at 16:03
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2 Answers

What free/open/libre alternative do I have for creating directory symbolic links in Windows XP?

Windows has the ability to create hardlinks build in. It's accessible through the Win API, a description about the topic incl. a function reference is available in the MSDN.

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  1. Has anyone found an exception and legally distributed Sysinternals software like Junction?

The EULA for Sysinternals Software is pretty clear that distribution to third-parties is not allowed.

You may not - make more copies of the software than specified in this agreement or allowed by applicable law, despite this limitation; - publish the software for others to copy; - rent, lease or lend the software; - transfer the software or this agreement to any third party

The FAQ says it more clearly

Q: May I distribute Sysinternals utilities in my software, on my website, or with my magazine?

A: No. We are not offering any distribution licenses, even if the 3rd party is distributing them for free. We encourage people to download the utilities from our download center where they can be assured to get the most recent version of the utility.

The only option is to have the end users download the software from the Sysintenals website. Since this is not an option, another tool is needed.

  1. What free/open/libre alternative do I have for creating directory symbolic links in Windows XP?

As Macke suggested, I posted a more technical rather than legal focused question at StackOverflow. I detail the Microsoft download I found there: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6203058/creating-a-windows-xp-junction/6214401#6214401

This option is preferable to the Windows API because I do not have to write any code.

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Just wondering, what are the re-distribution terms for linkd from the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools published by microsoft? –  hakre Jun 3 '11 at 18:30
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