(diff.info)Special Files

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Files that are Neither Directories Nor Regular Files

   Some files are neither directories nor regular files: they are
unusual files like symbolic links, device special files, named pipes,
and sockets.  Currently, `diff' treats symbolic links like regular
files; it treats other special files like regular files if they are
specified at the top level, but simply reports their presence when
comparing directories.  This means that `patch' cannot represent changes
to such files.  For example, if you change which file a symbolic link
points to, `diff' outputs the difference between the two files, instead
of the change to the symbolic link.

   `diff' should optionally report changes to special files specially,
and `patch' should be extended to understand these extensions.

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