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:
Changes since star-1.5.a21:
- New command 'spax' implements a POSIX.1 pax style command line interface
on top of star. The command is basically SUSv2/UNIX-98
The following extensions from SVSv3 / POSIX.1-2001 are implemented:
- The options -H and -L
- Support for the PSOX.1-2001 extended TAR header format
called 'pax'. This makes 'spax' the first pax like command that
supports this infinitely extensible and highly portable archive
The following limitations currently apply:
- No support for the CPIO archive format.
- No support for the -l option (create hard links if possible
in copy mode).
- The privilleges option -pa is ignored
- The privilleges option -pm will not only not set the mtime
but also not set the atime in extract and copy mode.
- without -po SUID/SGID permission bits are not masked off.
- Pattern matching for command line type args is not yet POSIX/PAX
compliant. It should emulate the shell's way of matching file names
where '/' is not part of the pattern and each path name component
needs to match separately, but it treats a filename like an unstructured
piece of text.
A man page is currently missing. Until the man page is ready, use spax -help
or have a look at the POSIX standard.
Although there are several limitations, spax should be POSIX compliant enough
for the everyday work.
Rationale: spax only implements a limited set of options to grant best POSIX
compliance. Anything you can do with spax may also be done with star. To be able
to do this, a new set of options has been added to star for this reason.
- New options in star:
-pax-ls Switch to POSIX ls/pax style listing
-pax-match Allow patterns in file type arguments
-pax-c Invert matching from file type arguments
-pax-n Allow only one match per pattern
-pax-i PAX style interactive mode
-pax-p PAX style privileges option setup
-pax-L Follow all symbolic links (PAX/POSIX style)
-pax-H Follow cmd line symbolic links (PAX/POSIX style)
- list= option now also works on -copy mode
- Star now no longer tries to estimate the archive type at the read side
of a copy proces pair. The type is known already.
NOTE: 1000 new lines have been added to star between release 1.5a21 and 1.5a22. Please
test and report if you find any problems.
Check whether the UID/GID in the archive will fit into uid_t/gid_t and map
the owner/group to nobody if thee are problems.
This does not seem to make sense for backup/restore operations on file servers:
Files for which the owner/group name could not be resolved should be mapped
to the UID/GID values for "nobody" found in /etc/passwd or /etc/group.
If these names could not be resolved, then the old SunOS-4.x NFS
values 65534 are used.
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
2003 Error control added to allow to selectively ignore error contitions
2003 ED like pattern based file name substitution with -s '/from/to/[gp]'
2003 Efficient built in -copy mode
2003 Basic support for incremental dumps (incremental restore not yet ready)
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
sophisticated error control - allows to tell star which error types
should be ignored for wich file name pattern.
This allows to write backup scripts that give
no error messages for all problems that are
tolerable (e.g. growing log files).
ED like filename substitution - star supports automated pattern rule based
file name substitution as documented for 'pax'.
A fast built in -copy mode - allows to make fast and accurate copies and
directory tree comparisons.
Have a look at the manual page, it is included in the distribution.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Please mail bugs and suggestions to me.