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From bugzi...@apache.org
Subject DO NOT REPLY [Bug 6634] New: - Old BSD style tar file format not supported by <untar> task
Date Thu, 21 Feb 2002 23:58:41 GMT
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http://nagoya.apache.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=6634

Old BSD style tar file format not supported by <untar> task

           Summary: Old BSD style tar file format not supported by <untar>
                    task
           Product: Ant
           Version: 1.4.1
          Platform: All
        OS/Version: All
            Status: NEW
          Severity: Major
          Priority: Other
         Component: Core tasks
        AssignedTo: ant-dev@jakarta.apache.org
        ReportedBy: bruce@callenish.com


Tar archives that are encoded using the original BSD format, rather than the 
newer POSIX format, are not properly supported by the Ant <untar> task because 
they lack the "ustar" magic header.

Here is a test script to demonstrate the problem:

<project default="test.untar" basedir="test">
  <target name="test.untar">
    <get src="http://www.sleepycat.com/update/4.0.14/db-4.0.14.tar.gz" 
        dest="db-4.0.14.tar.gz"/>
    <gunzip src="db-4.0.14.tar.gz"/>
    <untar src="db-4.0.14.tar" dest="."/>
  </target>
</project>

I originally contacted Sleepycat Software to get them to change their tarball 
rolling program, but they told me this is desired behaviour from their point of 
view:

> We're deliberately using the "original" tar archive format, as
> distributed with the BSD software releases.  The problem with
> defaulting to the ustar format is that tar binaries on older
> systems may not be able to read our release archives.

In case you think that this is some strange, otherwise unsupported format, they 
also said this:

> I know that the standard tar and pax
> commands distributed with the major vendors can all read old
> tar formats, it surprises me that Ant can't.

The GNU project apparently agrees that this is correct behaviour even though 
they don't seem to follow it much. Consider this from 
http://www.gnu.org/manual/tar/html_mono/tar.html#SEC111:

> On the other hand, most modern tars are
> able to read old format archives, so it might be safer for
> you to always use --old-archive (-o) for your distributions.

The GNU tar manual gives more details about compatibility issues between the 
two in the sections which follow.

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