2021-02-01 Copying symlink targets in Dired

I have a short but pretty useful tip today for everyone who uses Dired as their main file manager (which I do, of course). When copying symlinks using dired-do-copy (bound to C by default), Dired copies them as symlinks. Giving a prefix argument of C-u makes dired-do-copy dereference the symlink first.

You might also want to read the whole docstring of that command – there are quite a few ways to customize its behavior (though most people will probably leave the defaults).

And while at that, you might want to check the dired-dwim-target variable. While it sounds cool, it is not as useful as you might think, since the future history for file names includes “the other Dired buffer” anyway, so it is just one M-n away even without setting dired-dwim-target to t.

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