Subject: Issues with tar
To: NetBSD Users <>
From: Chris Cameron <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 08/21/2002 13:50:20
This is probably slightly off topic, but I've had issues finding any info on
this elsewhere. I'm running tar 1.13 compiled from source from  As
part of my nightly backup setup, a fairly long list of arguments/etc are
passed to tar to begin a dump to a tape drive.

For one, throughout the dump tar shoots this out to stdout:

tar: time_t value 18446744073709551615 too large (max=68719476735)

This happens about 20 or so times during a ~18gb backup (spans three 7gb
tapes).  At first I suspected that something was amiss in the filesystem,
and some files had odd timestamps. I forced a fsck on the filesystem, but it
returned no errors.  Anyone got any ideas on this?

Also, there is a list of excluded areas of the filesystem that it is not to
back up (/usr/pkgsrc, /tmp, etc), but tar is ignoring this and backing up
the files anyway (which is causing a third tape to be required, I'd like to
keep it down to two).

Here's the command line passed to tar and the backup-excludes file.

nice tar --multi-volume --create --preserve-permissions --file /dev/rst0 \
    --totals --label "Full dump on `date`" \
    --exclude-from=backup-excludes --sparse \
    --listed-incremental=backup-snapshot \
    --ignore-failed-read \

server# cat /usr/home/backup/backup-excludes

btw, tar is executed in the same directory as the backup-excludes file. I've
also tried that argument with and without the "="

If anyone has any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated :)

Chris Cameron <>
OneMind Inc. <>
phone 519.652.2504 - fax 519.652.0945
strategic marketing design