Subject: Re: FYI: upgrading GNU tar
To: None <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: current-users
Date: 10/11/2002 16:24:23
[ On Friday, October 11, 2002 at 12:33:28 (-0600), Rick Kelly wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: FYI: upgrading GNU tar
> Greg A. Woods said:
> >The OS tools themselves though, such as pkg_add et al, should as soon as
> >conveniently possible be converted to use the native 'pax' interface
> >(and the more portable archive format, etc.).
> Except, there is "new" pax and "old" pax. Sun uses "old" pax, circa 1989.
> NetBSD uses "new" pax, circa 1992, 1993.

I wouldn't call it "new vs. old" really.  I think Sun is/was using the
Usenix-funded version by Mark H. Colburn (IIRC) though now with many
enhancements and fixes, while NetBSD uses the independent implementation
done for BSD by Keith Muller.

> You can write archives with NetBSD pax that Solaris pax can't read.

Really?  Archives with standard "ustar" encoding?  I'd be very surprised
if that were true.  I haven't had any problems myself, nor have I heard
from anyone I've ever created archives for.  Sun claims (at least ever
since SunOS-5.6, up to and including SunOS-5.9) that their 'pax -x
ustar' can extract any archive compliant with IEEE 1003.1(1990).  They
also support 'xustar' in at least SunOS-5.9, which allows larger UID,
GID, dev, etc. values and which supports 64-bit file offsets and
pathnames greater than 255 chars.

> There is
> no central home for pax, so everyone hacks on it as they wish.

Pax is extremely well defined both on the command line and in the
archive format by IEEE POSIX and its imitators (eg. SuSv2).  That's the
main point to using it, in fact.

								Greg A. Woods

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