Any good tar alternatives? - SGI

This is a discussion on Any good tar alternatives? - SGI ; Hi, I've been using the IRIX "tar" for more than a decade. I never had any problem. I believe I tarred files much longer than what I'm trying to do today (specially when doing full-system backups). Never had a problem ...

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  1. Any good tar alternatives?

    Hi,

    I've been using the IRIX "tar" for more than a decade. I never had any
    problem. I believe I tarred files much longer than what I'm trying to
    do today (specially when doing full-system backups). Never had a
    problem with file name lengths there.

    Today I used GNU tar on Linux, for packaging a big source tree. The
    result was incompatible with IRIX, because GNU tar has incompatible
    extensions enabled by default.

    I tried the --posix option in GNU tar. Then it creates inexistent
    directories named "PaxHeaders".

    I tend to believe that the IRIX tar would be able to tar this tree
    without any problem, because I think I've tarred longer filenames in
    the past, but of course, I'm not sure.

    The only two solutions that I imagine are: A)Continue fighting with GNU
    tar switches, which I don't like to do, because compatible behaviour
    shouldn't need a waste of time, or B)Install GNU tar on IRIX, which I
    don't like either.

    So... I prefer to go away from tar... Is there something better than
    tar on UNIX nowadays?

    Thanks


  2. Re: Any good tar alternatives?

    In article <1144098043.285622.176250@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups. com>,
    wrote:
    >So... I prefer to go away from tar... Is there something better than
    >tar on UNIX nowadays?


    That's almost a religious matter ;-)

    If what I'm trying to do is move files from one system to another,
    then cpio is what I usually end up using, in circumstances
    in which rcp or scp or rdist (or rsync) are not more convenient.

    If what I'm doing is taking backups, then there is always the
    venerable "dump". On IRIX (and possibly other systems), "bru" is
    a higher performance and more featured incarnation of "dump".

    But once the amount of data (and number of files) to be worked with
    gets to be too much to really understand, then I would usually opt
    for a commercial backup program such as Legato's Networker . Especially
    so if the automated backups are living on a robot and typically span
    multiple media volumes. It does not, however, sound as if you are
    working with quite that much data.

    The selection of tool depends in part on the filesystem features
    you need to support -- for example, do you need to be able to
    preserve "holes" in files? Do you need to be able to archive from
    a "real-time sub-volume" ? Do you need to be able to archive active
    databases, complete with special features to ensure that the recorded
    database is consistant even if it was being updated while you were
    archiving?

  3. Re: Any good tar alternatives?

    Walter Roberson wrote:
    >
    > If what I'm doing is taking backups, then there is always the
    > venerable "dump". On IRIX (and possibly other systems), "bru" is
    > a higher performance and more featured incarnation of "dump".


    BRU is available for many other platforms, but you have to pay for it.

    http://www.bru.com/

    Personally, I think it's worthwhile for backups, but not for
    transferring data from system to system.

    Joerg Schilling's 'star' may be of interest. It's a supposedly
    POSIX-compliant tar implementation, is available free of charge, and
    runs on many platforms.

    http://cdrecord.berlios.de/old/private/star.html

  4. Re: Any good tar alternatives?

    Le Mon, 03 Apr 2006 14:00:43 -0700, zeecanvas a écrit*:

    >
    > So... I prefer to go away from tar... Is there something better than
    > tar on UNIX nowadays?


    You can use "star", you may also install GNU tar on IRIX, or create the
    archives with "pax" on linux.

    --
    Les défauts n'apparaissent qu'après que le programme a passé (avec
    succès) la phase d'intégration.
    Loi de Klipstein.


  5. Re: Any good tar alternatives?

    zeecanvas@yahoo.com wrote:
    > I've been using the IRIX "tar" for more than a decade. I never had any
    > problem. I believe I tarred files much longer than what I'm trying to
    > do today (specially when doing full-system backups). Never had a
    > problem with file name lengths there.
    >
    > Today I used GNU tar on Linux, for packaging a big source tree. The
    > result was incompatible with IRIX, because GNU tar has incompatible
    > extensions enabled by default.
    >
    > I tried the --posix option in GNU tar. Then it creates inexistent
    > directories named "PaxHeaders".
    >
    > I tend to believe that the IRIX tar would be able to tar this tree
    > without any problem, because I think I've tarred longer filenames in
    > the past, but of course, I'm not sure.
    >
    > So... I prefer to go away from tar... Is there something better than
    > tar on UNIX nowadays?


    Various backup/archive utilities have changed over the years.
    Generally speaking, there's no "absolute" compatible format that works
    across any and all UNIX variants. The quite old stuff (e.g. early tar
    implementations) had rather restrictive length limits (e.g. off the top
    of my head, I think UNIX Seventh Edition had a maximum pathname length
    of 100 characters, filenames were limited to 14 bytes (but that may not
    have been a tar limit), UIDs and GIDs were limited to two bytes, etc.).

    There are various newer things, e.g. cpio, GNU tar, pax, etc., but they
    all have their issues. There's dd and ar, but their uses are pretty
    limited.

    You may want to investigate pax(1) - it's fairly probable it exists on
    IRIX. With suitable options it's probably compatible with pax(1) on
    LINUX. The number and variety of options to pax(1) may be a bit
    daunting, but there's a fair probability that the right set on each
    platform would provide compatibility.

    I'll often use cpio(1) - it also has the advantage (or at least I
    usually consider it such) - at least for most implementations, of also
    backing up device files. For quite compatible cpio(1) operations,
    I'll typically use the -c option or its equivalent (e.g. -H odc).
    That's pretty backwards-compatible with cpio(1), but it can fail with
    larger input archives (one can run out of unique i-node numbers, or
    encounter other limitations). Sacrificing a bit of backwards
    compatibility while still trying to maximize portability, I may switch
    out the -c (or equivalent) option for -H newc (or equivalent).

    I tend to use tar(1) for maximum backwards compatibility. With GNU
    tar, one probably has to be quite careful with the options. Many
    things aren't, or aren't fully POSIX compliant, so just throwing in
    the --posix option may not be sufficient when creating a tar archive
    with GNU tar. Let's see ... --old-archive looks promising ...
    --format=v7 ought to be pretty darn backwards-compatible. Well, I just
    ran a test from LINUX (Debian GNU/Linux 3.1) using GNU tar, and
    transfered (that was the tough part) and successfully extracted the tar
    file on UNIX Seventh Edition (running on a PDP-11 emulator).
    I used:
    $ tar --format=v7 -cf - foo | compress -b 12 > foo.tar.Z
    to create (and compress) the archive. (transferring it involved od(1)
    and ed(1) and cc(1) ... ugh, but that worked too).
    Anyway, that archive, created under Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 with GNU tar
    extracted successfully under UNIX Seventh Edition. That ought to get
    you better than a quarter century of backwards compatibility. IRIX
    isn't that old, so it may be a bit more forgiving on tar formats, but
    in any case, it certainly ought to still be able to read UNIX Seventh
    Edition tar format files. If what you're backing up exceeds what the
    v7 format can handle, you might want to tweak what you're backing up
    and/or the format you're using to back it up. You may find other
    format(s) which are sufficiently compatible with the tar(1) provided
    on IRIX.

    RTFM (Read The Fine Manual) You *did* read the GNU tar(1)
    documentation, didn't you? (Okay, so GNU tends to "hide" them in
    "info" pages, but nevertheless they're quite available, and also
    Debian considers that a "bug" and writes the relevant man pages.) It
    would appear to have a lot of excellent information on the formats it
    supports and compatibility issues. At least on the particular
    version of the GNU tar(1) [tar (GNU tar) 1.14] I'm looking at, these
    sections look particularly informative:
    8 Controlling the Archive Format
    8.1 Making `tar' Archives More Portable

    references:
    tar(1)
    cpio(1)
    pax(1)
    http://www.gnu.org/software/tar/manu...ml#Portability


  6. Re: Any good tar alternatives?

    Thanks a lot to all contributors. I finally decided to compile the
    latest stable GNU Tar version. Not my favourite choice, but GNU tar is
    the standard nowadays. I also tried "star", but 1)The source code
    distribution is a bit messy (ships with files which belong to other
    pakages, and has an "include" directory with header files named exactly
    as standard system headers, which I disliked), and 2)Didn't compile out
    of the box with MIPSPro 7.3, the compilation ended with errors. Then I
    tried to compile GNU Tar and it worked fine (compiled both on IRIX 6.2
    and 6.5, with MIPSPro 7.3 in both cases).

    Anyway, I'll continue using SGI tar whenever possible.

    zee


  7. Re: Any good tar alternatives?

    In comp.sys.sgi.misc Walter Roberson wrote:
    > In article <1144098043.285622.176250@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups. com>,
    > wrote:
    >>So... I prefer to go away from tar... Is there something better than
    >>tar on UNIX nowadays?

    >
    > That's almost a religious matter ;-)


    It is not a religious matter at all. GNU tar usually does not
    support ustar (POSIX 1003.1) extensions and fails with filenames
    whose pathnames are exactly one hundred characters long. We fixed
    it a lot of time ago (in 1998, though) -we discovered this bug on
    Solaris and HP-UX servers- but, what in my humble opinion is the
    right behaviour for the GNU paxutils, is only available in the
    GNU tar releases available when the maintainer of GNU paxutils is
    Fran?ois Pinard. It usually happens each two years.

    You can, of course, use star on Linux or, if it is possible at all,
    replace Linux with a BSD flavour (FreeBSD, NetBSD or OpenBSD).
    I certainly prefer a good BSD operating system, but it is my own
    decision. Perhaps you do not like a BSD or cannot replace Linux
    on that machine. In any case, replacing an OS only because its tar
    implementation is broken is a bit overkill. BSDs are better tracking
    standards and providing high-quality software, and support a Linux
    binary emulation but, as I just said, replacing Linux with a BSD only
    because the default tar implementation in Linux is non-standards
    compliant is probably a wrong decision.

    Cheers,
    Igor.

  8. Re: Any good tar alternatives?

    Begin <1145450853.257391.33390@v46g2000cwv.googlegroups.c om>
    On 2006-04-19, zeecanvas@yahoo.com wrote:
    > Not my favourite choice, but GNU tar is the standard nowadays.


    Only if you truly believe that all the world's a linux box. Otherwise,
    the one and only standard tar format is POSIX-defined ``unix standard
    tar'', ustar. The gnu tar implementation more-or-less claims to be ustar
    compatible but then doesn't quite live up to expectations.


    > I also tried "star", but 1)The source code distribution is a bit messy
    > (ships with files which belong to other pakages, and has an "include"
    > directory with header files named exactly as standard system headers,
    > which I disliked),


    It isn't unusual for packages to provide their own versions of header
    files if they're known to not be there on some targets. As long as you
    don't install them (and rarely should you) there's not much to object
    to, there. The FreeBSD port of star I looked at had in its list of
    things to install only the binary and the manpage.


    > and 2)Didn't compile out of the box with MIPSPro 7.3, the compilation
    > ended with errors.


    You didn't bother to report your errors to the maintainer of star?


    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  9. Re: Any good tar alternatives?

    ["Followup-To:" header set to comp.unix.misc.]
    Walter Roberson :
    > In article <1144098043.285622.176250@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups. com>,
    > wrote:
    > >So... I prefer to go away from tar... Is there something better than
    > >tar on UNIX nowadays?

    >
    > That's almost a religious matter ;-)


    afio? I've never had it fail on me yet.

    afio -Z -v -T 3k -o $output_filename_of_afioarchive \
    /path/to/input/dir

    To recover the archive:

    cd /wherever
    afio -Z -v -i /cdrom/name_of_afio_archive

    or to recover a single file from an afio archive:

    afio -Z -v -i -y /path/to/single/file.blah /cdrom/afio_archive


    --
    Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
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