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tar 1.29

Item posted by Sergey Poznyakoff <gray> on Mon 16 May 2016 07:20:04 PM UTC.

GNU tar version 1.29 is available for download.

New in this release:

New options: --verbatim-files-from, --no-verbatim-files-from

The --verbatim-files-from option instructs tar to treat each line read from a file list as a file name, even if it starts with a dash.

File lists are supplied with the --files-from (-T) option.  By default, each line read from a file list is first stripped off the leading and trailing whitespace and, if the result begins with a dash, it is treated as tar command line option.

Use the --verbatim-files-from option to disable this special handling. This facilitates the use of tar with file lists created automatically
(e.g. by find(1) command).

This option affects all --files-from options that occur after it in the command line.  Its effect is cancelled by the --no-verbatim-files-from option.

--null option reads file names verbatim

The --null option implies --verbatim-files-from.  I.e. each line  read from null-delimited file lists is treated as a file name.

This restores the documented behavior, which was broken in version 1.27.

New options: --owner-map=FILE and --group-map=FILE

These two options provide fine-grained control over what user/group names (or IDs) should be mapped when adding files to archive.

For both options, FILE is a plain text file with user or group mappings.  Empty lines are ignored.  Comments are introduced with # sign (unless quoted) and extend to the end of the corresponding line.  Each non-empty line defines translation for a single UID (GID).  It must consist of two fields, delimited by any amount of whitespace:


OLDNAME is either a valid user (group) name or a ID prefixed with +.  Unless NEWID is supplied, NEWNAME must also be either a valid name or a
*+*ID.  Otherwise, both NEWNAME and NEWID need not be listed in the system user database.

New option --clamp-mtime

The new --clamp-mtime option changes the behavior of --mtime to only use the time specified if the file mtime is newer than the given time.
The --clamp-mtime option can only be used together with --mtime.

Typical use case is to make builds reproducible: to loose less information, it's better to keep the original date of an archive, except for files modified during the build process. In that case, using reference (and thus reproducible) timestamps for the latter is good enough.

See ReproducibleBuilds, for more information.

Deprecated --preserve option removed

Sparse file detection

Tar now uses SEEK_DATA/*SEEK_HOLE* on systems that support it.  This allows for considerable speed-up in sparse-file detection.

New option --hole-detection is provided, that allows the user to select the algorithm used for hole detection.  Available arguments


Use lseek(2) SEEK_DATA and SEEK_HOLE whence parameters.


Scan entire file before storing it to determine where holes are located.

The default is to use seek whenever possible, and fall back to raw otherwise.


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