Gentoo Wiki


GNU tar

"The tar program provides the ability to create tar archives, as well as various other kinds of manipulation. For example, you can use tar on previously created archives to extract files, to store additional files, or to update or list files which were already stored.

Initially, tar archives were used to store files conveniently on magnetic tape. The name `tar' comes from this use; it stands for tape archiver. Despite the utility's name, tar can direct its output to available devices, files, or other programs (using pipes). tar may even access remote devices or files (as archives)."


Wiki Entries

Portage Tree

Beware of buggy tar variants

To utilize an LS120 laser servo diskette drive for multivolume backups, it is necessary to install the heirloom variant of tar. There is currently a serious bug in gnutar, which prevents a multivolume backup from being restored.

Installation of heirloom tar

Lock the tar package into the package database

It is necessary to lock the tar package into the package database, to prevent its subsequent removal or update by the package management system. Add the following entry to the /etc/portage/profile/package.provided configuration file:


Create a directory for building the heirloom tar variant

cd ~
mkdir heirloom
cd heirloom

Obtain the heirloom package sources


Unpack the heirloom sources into the heirloom directory

bunzip2 heirloom-070715.tar.bz2
tar xf heirloom-070715.tar

Compile the tar package

cd heirloom-070715/tar
cc tar.c

Compress the tar man page

gzip tar.1

Obtain appropriate system administrative privileges

It is necessary to obtain root privileges to install the updated files:

su root

Rename the existing tar installation files

mv /bin/tar /bin/tar.del
mv /usr/share/man/man1/tar.1.gz /usr/share/man/man1/tar.1.gz.del

Install the replacement files

cp tar /bin
cp tar.1.gz /usr/share/man/man1/

External Links

Retrieved from ""

Last modified: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 23:15:00 +0000 Hits: 5,377