Yes, a simple soft link works perfectly.
It's a bit of a pain not being able to relocate these directories in the UI. A common setup is to want the attachments on a disk that's mirrored and backed up, (SAN, shared file system or something) but the index on the fastest nastiest non-shared disk you can find.
Not that I have run into.
You aren't really risking data loss in a restart, but that you'll need to re-index on every reboot. This might be acceptable if your re-index is a matter of a couple of minutes, but if it's starting to run over 2-3 minutes (it's proportional to the number of issues and complexity of customfields), that might not be acceptable to your users.
We actually us a soft link for our complete home directory and installation directory. So it works perfectly.
In this way we can use jira-home and atlassian-jira as directories in all our configurations, but in the end they are just soft links to the actual directories. (It's part of our backup and falll back mechanism should an update go awry).
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