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Tru64 UNIX Software Transition Kit


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non-critical impact:

tar command - option differences; temporarily available (NcWn241)

CMD Impacts ME Impacts

Problem description

The tar archiving utility on Tru64 UNIX has some options that are not present in tar on HP-UX. In addition, some options are different, but exhibit the same behavior. Also, some options are the same, but exhibit different behavior. This utility is available on a temporary basis in the Tru64 UNIX Migration Environment for HP-UX.

On Tru64 UNIX, the default tape drive is:


On HP-UX, the default tape drive is:


On Tru64 UNIX, the r option writes the named files at the end of the specified archive. If the archive is on tape, tar expects that the tape is currently positioned to the beginning of the archive.

On HP-UX, the r option adds the named file to the end of the archive. The same blocking factor used to create the archive must be used to append to it. This option cannot be used if the archive is a tape.

On Tru64 UNIX, the V option prevents any extended attributes from being archived with associated files. This option is particularly useful for archiving files that are to be restored with previous versions of tar and cpio.

On HP-UX, the e option fails if the extended attributes are present in the files to be archived. If tar fails for this reason, the partially created destination file is not removed.

On Tru64 UNIX, the v option makes tar print the name of each file it processes as specified by the function key. With the t function key, the verbose option gives more information about the tape entries than just their names. It even prints out a letter indicating the type of the archived file.

On HP-UX, the V option is the same as the verbose function modifier v except that when using the function t, tar also prints out a letter indicating the type of the archived file.

The following are the Internationalization/Localization differences between Tru64 UNIX and HP-UX tar commands:

  • On Tru64 UNIX, the LC_MESSAGES variable determines the locale's equivalent of y or n (for yes/no responses). On HP-UX, LANG determines the language equivalent of y (for yes/no responses).

  • On Tru64, if any of the internationalization variables contain an invalid setting, the utility behaves as if none of the variables had been defined. On HP-UX, if any of the internationalization variable contains an invalid setting, tar behaves as if all internationalization variables are set to "C".

The following are Tru64 UNIX specific extensions that are not in HP-UX:


Exists so that tar can work across a communications channel where the blocking cannot be maintained.


The tar command uses the next argument, exception, as the name of the file to be excluded from the archive.


Processes extended headers, allowing you to archive or extract extended UIDs and GIDs, long filenames, link-names, large files, and long user and group names.


Checks certain file names before archiving. Source Code Control System (SCCS), Revision Control System (RCS), files named core, errs, a.out, and files ending in .o are not archived.


Ignores checksum errors. The tar command writes a file header containing a checksum for each file in the archive. When this option is not specified, the system verifies the contents of the header blocks by recomputing the checksum and stops with a directory checksum error when a mismatch occurs. When this option is specified, tar logs the error and then scans forward until it finds a valid header block. This permits restoring files from later volumes of a multivolume archive without reading earlier volumes.


Tries to create a symbolic link if tar is unsuccessful in its attempt to link (hard link) two files.


Specifies the prefix that is to be stripped off of the file names archived to or extracted from tape.


The named file immediately following this option contains a list of file names separated by newlines. This list is added to (c function key, r function key) or extracted from (x function key) the archive. The -R option is incompatible with the -C option.


Tells tar to strip off any leading slashes from pathnames during extraction.

S blocksb | feet[@density]

Specifies the number of 512-byte blocks per volume (first form), independent of the tape blocking factor. You can also specify the size of the tape in feet, and optionally density, by using the second form.

The Migration Environment contains Tru64 UNIX Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), development tools, and commands and utilities to assist customers in migrating their applications from Tru64 UNIX to HP-UX.


UNIX Commandstar                

See also

Solution description

The tar utility is in the Tru64 UNIX Migration Environment for HP-UX.

Applications and users can use this utility from the Tru64 UNIX Migration Environment for HP-UX. See the tar(1) manpage in the Migration Environment for more information. Please note that the Migration Environment is temporary.

If you use the Tru64 UNIX tar utility (not the ME version) to create archives, use the V option to prevent ACLs and any other extended attributes from being archived and to to ensure interoperability with other vendor's systems.

Review the manpages and your scripts to determine if they are affected by these differences.

See also

Problem summary

classifications source types OS release severity type
CMD, ME Make, Script any HP-UX 11i version non-critical warning
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