Subject: Star-1.5 source has been released
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that itself is implemented as Open Source project.
Star is the fastest tar archiver for UNIX
Star has many improvements compared to other tar
implementations (including gnu tar). See below for a short description
of the highlight of star.
Star is located on:
Changes since star-1.5.a01:
This is the first mid level step towards incremental backups.
1.5a03 or 1.5a04 will have the needed features to do incremental dumps.
Later versions will include support for incremental restore.
- Speed up the creation and remove length limitation from text tags
in POSIX.1-2001 extended headers.
- Speed up the regognition of POSIX.1-2001 extended header tags
- Diff code now is able to compare the number of hard links to
a file if the archive is in -dump (exeustar) format.
- List code now inclues hard link count in the long listing if the
archive is in -dump (exeustar) format.
This allows to see the difference in the number of hard links
in diff mode if the archive is in POSIX.1-2001 extended -dump
- Diff code now is able to compare the directory content if the
archive is in -dump (exeustar) format.
This allows star to tell whether the target directory on disk
includes more files than the archive. This property will later
be needed in incremental restore mode to remove files that
have been removed between incremental dumps.
NEW FEATURE: you now can compare two directory trees on disk
with only one run of star by calling:
star -C fromdir -c -dump . | star -C todir -diff -v
star -C fromdir -c -dump . | star -C todir -diff -vv
Star will now even complain if the directory 'todir' contains
more files than the directory 'fromdir'.
- New diffopt= 'dir' to tell star whether to compare or
dir content if the archive is in -dump (exeustar) format.
- Enhance autoconf code for OS/2
- Add socket lib definition to RULES to allow networking programs
- Check whether readlink() is present to allow compilation on OS/2
- Check whether symlink() is present to allow compilation on OS/2
- Check whether chown() is present to allow compilation on OS/2
- fexec.c in libschily now uses ';' as PATH Environment delimitor
for EMX to allow path search to work on OS/2 too.
- Call setmode(stdin/stdout, O_BINARY) on OS/2 EMX too.
- Now call setmode(pipe, O_BINARY) on _both_ sides of the compress pipe.
This should affect OS/2 _and_ Cygwin.
- Work around a OS/2 EMX bug that causes star to dump core if the
FIFO code correctly closes the unused parts of the pipes that
are used o synchronize the cache.
This was caused by attaching the shared memory segment too late
to the child process.
- For OS/2 EMX use ';' as PATH environment separator for PATH
search in fexec.c
- In create mode try always to avoid to need to call
by reading the directory content into allocated memory.
This may cause problems on systems that are low with memory.
- New option -lowmem to tell star to behave as before.
With -lowmem is used, star does not malloc() the dir content
and defaults to 1 MB FIFO size.
- include the directory content in the extended POSIX.1-2001 header
if in -dump mode.
Star uses a vendor unique extended POSIX.1-2001 header tag named
are reserved for future use with incremental dumps. They will be used
only if the dump level is greater than 0. They are neded to allow star
in incremental restore mode to know which files have been removed
before the tape has completely passed. For this reason, star will be able
to do incremental restores even if the filesystem is nearly full.
Revision history (short)
1982 First version on UNOS (extract only)
1985 Port to UNIX (fully functional version)
1985 Added pre Posix method of handling special files/devices
1986 First experiments with fifo as external process.
1993 Remote tape access
1993 diff option
1994 Fifo with shared memory integrated into star
1994 Very long filenames and sparse files
1994 Gnutar and Ustar(Posix.1-1988) handling added
1994 Xstar format (extended Posix.1-1988) defined and introduced
1995 Ported to many platforms
1999 Support for Win32 (Cygwin)
1999 base 256 support to overcome limitation with octal fields
2001 Large file support
2001 Support for POSIX.1-2001 extended headers
2001 Support for ACLs in POSIX.1-2001 extended headers
2002 Support for extended file flags in POSIX.1-2001 extended headers
2002 Support for extended inode meta data and meta files
Virtually any! Known to work:
SunOS 4.x, Solaris (SunOS 5.x), Linux,
HP-UX, DG/UX, IRIX, AIX, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD,
OSF-1, True-64, QNX, BeOS, Apollo Domain/OS, Next-STep,
OS/2, SCO-openserver, SCO-unixware, Caldera OpenUnix,
Cygwin (Win32), Sony NewsOS, BSDi (BSD/OS), QNX,
Apple Rhapsody, MacOS X, AmigaOS, GNU Hurd
Star is the fastest known implementation of a tar archiver.
Star is able to make backups with far more than 10MB/s if the
disk and tape drive support such a speed. This is more than
double the speed that ufsdump will get.
In 1996, Ampex got 13.5 MB/s with their DLT tape drive which is a
modified professional digital video tape drive and not related
to Quantum's DLT type drives.
Ufsdump got a maximum speed of about 6MB/s with the same hardware.
Star development started 1982, the first complete implementation has
been done in 1985. I never did my backups with other tools than star.
Its main advantages over other tar implementations are:
fifo - keeps the tape streaming.
This gives you faster backups than
you can achieve with ufsdump, if the
size of the filesystem is > 1 GByte.
remote tape support - a fast RMT implementation that has no
probems to saturate a 100 Mb/s network.
accurate sparse files - star is able to reproduce holes in sparse
files accurately if the OS includes
the needed support functions. This is
currently true for Solaris-2.3 to
pattern matcher - for a convenient user interface
(see manual page for more details).
To archive/extract a subset of files.
sophisticated diff - user tailorable interface for comparing
tar archives against file trees
This is one of the most interesting parts
of the star implementation.
no namelen limitation - Pathnames up to 1024 Bytes may be archived.
(The same limitation applies to linknames)
This limit may be expanded in future
without changing the method to record
deals with all 3 times - stores/restores all 3 times of a file
(even creation time)
With POSIX.1-2001 the times are in nanosecond
Star may reset access time after doing
backup. On Solaris this can be done without
changing the ctime.
does not clobber files - more recent copies on disk will not be
clobbered from tape
This may be the main advantage over other
tar implementations. This allows
automatically repairing of corruptions
after a crash & fsck (Check for differences
after doing this with the diff option).
automatic byte swap - star automatically detects swapped archives
and transparently reads them the right way
automatic format detect - star automatically detects several common
archive formats and adopts to them.
Supported archive types are:
Old tar, gnu tar, ansi tar, star,
POSIX.1-2001 PAX, Sun's Solaris tar.
automatic compression detect - star automatically detects whether the
archive is compressed. If it has been
compressed with a compression program that
is compatible to decompression with "gzip"
or "bzip2", star automatically activates
fully ansi compatible - Star is fully ANSI/Posix 1003.1 compatible.
See README.otherbugs for a complete
description of bugs found in other tar
implementations. Star is the first tar
implementation that supports POSIX.1-2001.
support for ACLs and file flags - star supports Access Control Lists
and extended file flags (as found on FreeBSD
and Linux). Support to archive and restore
other file properties may be easily added.
support for all inode metadata - star supports to put all inode
metadata on the archive. This allows future
versions of star to perform true
Have a look at the manual page, it is included in the distribution.
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please mail bugs and suggestions to me.