Star is a tar like archiver - TAR stands for Tape ARchiver.
Star saves many files together into a single tape or disk archive,
and can restore individual files from the archive. It includes a FIFO
for speed, a pattern matcher, multivolume support, the ability to archive
sparse files, automatic archive format detection, automatic byte order
recognition, automatic archive compression/decompression, remote archives
and special features that allow star to be used for full backups.
It also includes `rmt', a truly portable version of the remote tape server
that supports remote operation between different OS and machine architectures
(hides even Linux oddities) and a portable `mt' tape drive control program
that is able to use the remote tape interface.
The RMT program if 100% compatible with Sun's extensions for inter-platform
operability support (MT status codes) and with GNU extensions for inter-platform
open() interoperability. In addition, it includes my enhancements that
hide Linux MT-ioctl non compliances with other UNIX platforms.
Star is the fastest known implementation of a tar archiver.
Star is even faster than ufsdump in nearly all cases.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Please mail bugs and suggestions to me.