File: AN-1.5a03

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Subject: Star-1.5 source has been released

***************
Please have a look at the German open Source Center BerliOS at www.berlios.de
BerliOS will continue to support free hosting of cryptography projects even
when US laws change and don't allow to host cryptography projects in the USA.
Also look at sourcewell.berlios.de, the first Open Source announcement service
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:

ftp://ftp.fokus.gmd.de/pub/unix/star

Changes since star-1.5.a02:

The first mid level step towards incremental backups was 1.5a02.
1.5a04 or 1.5a05 will have the needed features to do incremental dumps.
Later versions  will include support for incremental restore.

-	New program "tartest" reads TAR archives from "stdin" and prints
	a list of non-compliances with POSIX.1-1990

	Call e.g.
			tar cf - | tartest

	To check your favorite TAR implementation against POSIX.1-1990


-	Fixed a bug introduced by applying a patch from 8.3.2002
	from Andreas Gruenbacher <ag@bestbits.at>

	The bug caused a needed ',' to be ommited from the ACL string
	in extract mode if the target platform did not have named entries
	in the passwd file and the ACL string was converted to use the 
	numeric user id instead.

-	Fixed a bug that caused star to complain

		"star: Cannot handle multi volume archives from/to stdin/stdout."

	if called "star -c f=- ..." or "star cf - ...".

-	Fixed a bug that did not allow it to specify the keyword "nlink" with the
	diffopts= option. Old star versions did not implement this option and thus
	it has been forbidden before.

-	Make sure that Base 256 coding is only used if the receiving archive format
	will understand it.



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

Supported platforms:

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

Joerg

-------------------------------------------------------------
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
				  Solaris-2.5.1

	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
				  long names.

	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
				  granularity.
				  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
				  decompression.

	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
				  incremental dumps.

Have a look at the manual page, it is included in the distribution.

Author:

Joerg Schilling
Seestr. 110
D-13353 Berlin
Germany

Email: 	joerg@schily.isdn.cs.tu-berlin.de, js@cs.tu-berlin.de
	schilling@fokus.gmd.de

Please mail bugs and suggestions to me.