2 unstable releases

Uses old Rust 2015

0.3.0 Aug 25, 2017
0.2.0 Oct 23, 2016

#57 in #file-content

Download history 10/week @ 2024-02-23 7/week @ 2024-03-01 38/week @ 2024-03-29 13/week @ 2024-04-05

51 downloads per month
Used in imag-documentation


3.5K SLoC


This library crate contains functionality to generate references within the imag store.

It can be used to create references to other files on the filesystem (reachable via a filesystem path). It differs from libimagentrylink/external linking as it is designed exclusively for filesystem references, not for URLs.

A reference can have several properties, for example can a reference track the content of a filesystem path by hashing the content with a hashsum (SHA1) and one can check whether a file was changed by that. As files can get big (think of debian.iso) partial hashing is supported (think of "hash the first 2048 bytes of a file).

The library contains functionality to re-find a moved file automatically by checking the content hash which was stored before.

Permission changes can be tracked as well.

So this library helps to resemble something like a symlink.


Please understand that this is not intended to be a version control system or something like that. We also can not use real symlinks as we need imag-store-objects to be able to link stuff.


This library offers functionality to refer to content outside of the store. It can be used to refer to nearly static stuff pretty easily - think of a Maildir - you add new mails by fetching them, but you mostly do not remove mails and if you do you end up with a "null pointer" in the store, which can then be handled properly.

As this library supports custom hashes (you don't have to hash the full file, you can also parse the file and hash only some content) this is pretty flexible. For example if you want to implement a imag module which tracks a certain kind of files which constantly change... but the first 5 lines do never change after the file is created - you can write a custom hasher that only uses the first 5 lines for the hash.


Internally, in the store, the file gets created under /ref/<hash of the path to the file to refer to>. If the content of the file is hashed, we can still re-find the file via the content hash (which is stored in the header of the store entry).

The reference object can, after the path was re-found, be updated.

Long-term TODO

Things which have to be done here or are not yet properly tested:

  • Testing of different Hashers
  • Testing of re-finding of objects, including:
    • Can a moved file automatically be found by content hash?
    • Does a store-reference get updated automatically if it was moved, including links (as in libimaglink)?
    • If the content of a file changes, does the content hash get updated automatically?

("automatically" is a strechable term here, as these things have to be triggered by the user anyways)


~279K SLoC