Subject: extracting old distributions' 'bin.tar.gz' with NetBSD's 'tar'.
To: None <port-alpha@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Chris G Demetriou <Chris_G_Demetriou@UX2.SP.CS.CMU.EDU>
List: port-alpha
Date: 03/25/1996 19:54:33
It turns out that there was a bug in NetBSD's version of GNU tar that
would keep distributions' bin.tar.gz file from being extracted

Specifically, it would incorrectly determine that that file was not a
properly-formed 'ustar' archive, and therefore ignore device
major/minor number information.  The bug was that GNU tar apparently
intentionally expects and uses a different 'magic' string than the
standard one for ustar archives.

I've committed a fix (more like a workaround) to the NetBSD-current
GNU tar sources, and sent a diff off to the GNU tar maintainer.  (It
is a bug in the current version of GNU tar, as well.)

The reason the NetBSD/Alpha distribution ran into this problem is that
i use 'pax' to make the distribution, and pax spits out a 'proper'
ustar header.  (I wanted something that would spit out a ustar-format
file, but with cpio-like file list input...  and that something was

To properly extract the distribution tar files under NetBSD, i suggest
you use pax.