SUMMARY: Limitations of tar to 100 chars

From: Thomas Rudolph (
Date: Mon Jul 21 1997 - 10:08:21 CDT

Hi all,

I wrote:

> Hi Sun-Managers,
> how can I walk around the limitation of tar to 100 chars ????
> I got a tar-file from HP-UX 9.x with path/filenames longer than 100 chars. Tar on sunos4.1.3 can read this archive , but
> all files with pathnames longer than 100 chars are written to the root of the archive, pathnames are cutted.
> Are there tar versions for sunos 4.1.3 ( or Linux ) who can read such archives ?

All replies recommended the use of gnu-tar, one the installation of a special sun patch:SUN Patch ID# 101634-01

I tried gnutar , file tar-1.12.tar.gz from gnu archive. It compiled without problems or manual intervetion on SunOS 4.1.3.
But the problem remains. Then I found the following within the Readme of gnutar:

* POSIX compliance.

GNU `tar' implements an early draft of the POSIX 1003.1 `ustar' standard
which is different from the final standard. This will be progressively
corrected over the incoming few years. Don't be mislead by the mere
existence of the --posix option. Later releases will become able to
read truly POSIX archives, and also to produce them under option. (Also,
if you look at the internals, don't take the GNU extensions you see for
granted, as they are planned to change.) GNU tar 2.0 will produce POSIX
archives by default, but there is a long way before we get there.

And exactly this was the problem.

HP-UX-tar uses POSIX-tar as standard( mentioned in the man-page).
There was no chance to read this archive ( I tried SunOS,Linux,DEC,WinNT) .

Now we used cpio , and all looks well.

Thanks for all your replies,


Thomas Rudolph

Teleconnect GmbH
Dresden, Germany


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