Subject: Re: GNU tar goodbye?
To: None <>
From: Christos Zoulas <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 10/11/2002 01:26:47
In article <>,
Greg A. Woods <tech-userlevel@NetBSD.ORG> wrote:

I am working on porting OpenBSD's fixes to the NetBSD pax right now.
After I am done, and sufficient testing has proven that pax can replace
gtar, we will remove it.


>NetBSD's "pax" already partially supports 'tar -C' and has done since
>1999/10/22.  The remaining fixes have been available from several
>different sources for almost as long.
>For example I've had a version that works sufficiently for NetBSD's
>needs for over a year now.  Here's the description from "my" manual
>page (the manual actually comes from OpenBSD, as do most of the changes
>I used to implement this functionality in my local version):
>     -C directory  This is a positional argument which sets the working direc-
>                   tory for the following files.  When extracting, files will
>                   be extracted into the specified directory; when creating,
>                   the specified files will be matched from the directory.
>                   This argument and its parameter may also appear in a file
>                   list specified by -T.
>>, and --fast-read.
>and that's simply a red herring -- it is not critical for any use of
>"tar" in NetBSD.  Those who really think they need it can find gtar in
>Are there any more red herrings you forgot to mention?  :-)
>>  Once that's done, we
>> can enable the "pax as tar" front-end and remove gtar.
>Remember some of us have done without GNU Tar for well over a year now
>and haven't missed it in the slightest.  It was eliminated in OpenBSD
>back in 1996, for example, and OpenBSD's needs for a "tar" command are
>not much different that NetBSD's.
>Note too that from what I've seen of the effort expended to date to
>upgrade and re-integrate the patched new GNU Tar it would be no more
>effort to simply finish getting "pax as tar" working and do the switch
>immediately (and that's without including any of the past six years of
>work done on maintaining the old GNU Tar).
>Every time "you" (i.e. core) choose to continue supporting GNU Tar
>instead of getting rid of it you're wasting valuable resources and
>perhaps even making it harder to justify dropping GNU Tar.
>(and these last two paragraphs are all that's "opinion" in this post!).
>								Greg A. Woods
>+1 416 218-0098;            <>;           <>
>Planix, Inc. <>; VE3TCP; Secrets of the Weird <>