8.3 Making `tar' Archives More Portable
Creating a `tar' archive on a particular system that is meant to be
useful later on many other machines and with other versions of `tar' is
more challenging than you might think. `tar' archive formats have been
evolving since the first versions of Unix. Many such formats are
around, and are not always compatible with each other. This section
discusses a few problems, and gives some advice about making `tar'
archives more portable.
One golden rule is simplicity. For example, limit your `tar'
archives to contain only regular files and directories, avoiding other
kind of special files. Do not attempt to save sparse files or
contiguous files as such. Let's discuss a few more problems, in turn.
* Portable Names Portable Names
* dereference Symbolic Links
* hard links Hard Links
* old Old V7 Archives
* ustar Ustar Archives
* gnu GNU and old GNU format archives.
* posix POSIX archives
* Checksumming Checksumming Problems
* Large or Negative Values Large files, negative time stamps, etc.
* Other Tars How to Extract GNU-Specific Data Using
Other `tar' Implementations
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