Subject: Re: pax-as-tar extract to stdout patch
To: der Mouse <mouse@Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
From: Bill Studenmund <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 06/17/2003 20:55:24
On Tue, 17 Jun 2003, der Mouse wrote:

> > Both 'tar' and 'cpio' as command-line interfaces were as good as dead
> > essentially _before_ POSIX got off the ground -- they've been long
> > dead ever since!
> I for one sure find tar awfully useful for a dead interface.  (Perhaps
> it helps to have an implementation I can trust.)

I definitely concur. Until just a few years ago, I'd never used pax, and
thought it was the dead one. While non-gtar tar may be dead, gtar
certainly has breathed live into the "tar" family.

> > [...extract to stdout...]
> > However this ability is restricted to a very tiny number of 'tar'
> > implementations (two as far as I know, at least until this feature
> > was proposed for NetBSD's new implementation),
> Is mine one of them?  If not, make that three. :-)

Given that one of these implementations is gtar (assuming I understand
things right), counting the number of implementations doesn't matter.
Given its market share, it probably covers most (if not almost all) of the
archive creation & extraction performed that uses tar format files.

Just because we can extract to temporary directories doesn't mean we
shouldn't also support this. UNIX has often let people do things multiple
ways. :-)

Take care,