Many thanks to every one that responded the the problem with unpacking GNATS.
It seems as thought GNATS is packed with the new GNU "gzip". IMHO, I find it
very confusing that the FSF/GNU folks choose to use an extension of ".z" instead
of something like ".gzip". I had to spend an hour working with this before I
realized that maybe once again the computer industry has created an
incompatibility. The thing that confused me was that pack(1) uses a ".z" ext.
Anyways here is the original request:
>Maybe this is the wrong alias but I couldn't find anyone better to send
>mail to. I'm trying to unpack gnats and unpack says that it isn't in
>a packed format.
>Could someone tell me what I need to do get gnats to unpack.
>By the way I pulled this from sunsite.unc.edu:/pub/gnu/
I have enclosed the most comprehensive summary about what is going on at
the end of this e-mail.
And a hardy thank-you to the people that responded! Kudos to FSF/GNU for
making all this possible.
----- Begin Included Message -----
>From uunet!gnu.ai.mit.edu!justice Tue May 4 10:38:32 1993
Date: Tue, 4 May 93 09:50:57 edt
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Brad Walker), email@example.com
Subject: unpack of GNATS
[Noah, the following is a response to an article in ailab.sun-managers
on life.ai.mit.edu (or whatever their NNTP server is called). Is
there anything I failed to say, or got wrong? Joseph]
Maybe this is the wrong alias but I couldn't find anyone better to
send mail to. I'm trying to unpack gnats and unpack says that it
isn't in a packed format. Could someone tell me what I need to do
get gnats to unpack. By the way I pulled this from
If you snagged an FSF/GNU program recently, and it had an extension of
".z" (*NOT* ".Z"), it may be in a new compression format called "gzip"
(GNU Zip). This format is INCOMPATIBLE with the compress/uncompress
and pack/unpack formats. However, the programs that implement this
format, gzip/ungzip (and others), understand both the compress format
and pack format for uncompression (uncompression *only*).
The needed programs can be obtained from prep.ai.mit.edu in /pub/gnu/
(and elsewhere). They are kept (in both source and certain executable
forms) in varions formats, none of which require the prior acquisition
of gzip/ungzip. (Therefore, the chicken and the egg problem doesn't
This new format is being used as of a few weeks ago (from this date)
to keep ALL files (which require compression) in the FSF/GNU archives
on prep.ai.mit.edu. I assume that these files will eventually
supercede files in mirrors of prep.ai everywhere.
This new change in the way the FSF/GNU archives are kept is documented
in the January, 1993 _GNU'S Bulletin_, in the article "GNU Zip to
Replace Compress" (p. 8). I believe there's also a README in the prep
Hope this answers all your questions.
-- Joseph R. Justice IRC: Justice Internaut at large Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org "that damned Justice fellow..." ALSO: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org PAX, penet, RIP email@example.com Member, League for Programming Freedom E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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