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Release Digest: GNU, May 11, 2004

May 12, 2004, 05:00 (0 Talkback[s])


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GNU tar 1.14


I am pleased to announce the release of GNU tar 1.14. This is the first major release of the program since 1999. It includes support for POSIX archive formats and many new features (see the list of user-visible changes below).

GNU tar saves many files together into a single tape or disk archive, and can restore individual files from the archive. It includes support for several archive formats, support for multiple archive volumes, the ability to archive sparse files, automatic archive compression/decompression, remote archives and special features that allow tar to be used for incremental and full backups.

For more information on tar, including links to file downloads, please see the tar web page: http://www.gnu.org/software/tar and the the project page http://savannah.gnu.org/projects/tar.

GNU tar is available from ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/tar and the mirror sites worldwide (see http://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html for the list of those).

The MD5 checksums of the files are:

15af5811eb284dd15cf5e16d3a06df30 tar-1.14.shar.gz
f1932e0fbd4641885bfdcc75495c91b7 tar-1.14.tar.bz2
3094544702b1affa32d969f0b6459663 tar-1.14.tar.gz

The list of user-visible changes follows:

  • Added support for POSIX.1-2001 and ustar archive formats.
  • New option --format allows to select the output archive format
  • The default output format can be selected at configuration time by presetting the environment variable DEFAULT_ARCHIVE_FORMAT. Allowed values are GNU, V7, OLDGNU, USTAR, and POSIX.
  • New option --strip-path allows to cut off a given number of path elements from the name of the file being extracted.
  • New options --index-file, --no-overwrite-dir. The --overwrite-dir option is now the default; use --no-overwrite-dir if you prefer the previous default behavior.
  • New option --keep-newer-files instructs tar to not replace existing files that are newer than their copies from the archive.
  • The semantics of -o option is changed. When extracting, it does the same as --no-same-owner GNU tar option. This is compatible with UNIX98 tar. Otherwise, its effect is the same as that of --old-archive option. This latter is deprecated and will be removed in future.
  • New option --check-links prints a message if not all links are dumped for a file being archived. This corresponds to the UNIX98 -l option. The current semantics of the -l option is retained for compatibility with previous releases, however such usage is strongly deprecated as the option will change to its standard semantics in the future releases.
  • New option --occurrence[=N] can be used in conjunction with one of the subcommands --delete, --diff, --extract or --list when a list of files is given either on the command line or via -T option. This option instructs tar to process only the Nth occurrence of each named file. N defaults to 1, so `tar -x -f archive --occurrence filename' extracts the first occurrence of `filename' from `archive' and terminates without scanning to the end of the archive.
  • New option --pax-option allows to control the handling of POSIX keywords in `pax' extended headers. It is equivalent to `pax'
    • option.
  • --incremental and --listed-incremental options work correctly on individual files, as well as on directories.
  • New scripts: backup (replaces old level-0 and level-1) and restore for doing incremental backups and restorations. The scripts are compiled and installed if --enable-backup-scripts option is given to configure.
  • By default tar searches "rmt" utility in "$prefix/libexec/rmt", which is consistent with the location where the version of "rmt" included in the package is installed. Previous versions of tar used "/etc/rmt". To install "rmt" to its traditional location, run configure with option --libexecdir=/etc. Otherwise, if you already have rmt installed and wish to use it, instead of the shipped in version, set the variable DEFAULT_RMT_COMMAND to the full path name of the utility, e.g. ./configure DEFAULT_RMT_COMMAND=/etc/rmt.

    Notice also that the full path name of the "rmt" utility to use can be set at runtime, by giving option --rmt-command to tar.

  • Removed obsolete command line options:
    • --absolute-paths superseded by --absolute-names
    • --block-compress is not needed any longer
    • --block-size superseded by --blocking-factor
    • --modification-time superseded by --touch
    • --read-full-blocks superseded by --read-full-records
    • --record-number superseded by --block-number
    • --version-control superseded by --backup
  • New message translations fi (Finnish), gl (Galician), hr (Croatian), hu (Hungarian), ms (Malaysian), nb (Norwegian), ro (Romanian), sk (Slovak), zh_CN (Chinese simplified), zh_TW (Chinese traditional). The code 'no' for Norwegian has been withdrawn; use 'nb' instead.
  • Various bug fixes.

Please send bug reports and suggestions to <bug-tar@gnu.org>