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FIX: Recent exabyte problems for SunOS 4 and Irix 4

James Bonfield jkb at mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk
Tue Mar 14 06:55:06 EST 1995

IMPORTANT NOTE for Exabyte tapes for SunOS 4.x and SGI Irix 4 systems sent
out on or after January 13th.

NB: All references to the 'ftp site' below are for files within (or below) the
    pub/staden directory on the machine ftp.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk (
    Use ftp to connect and login as user anonymous.

We have discovered a bug in our system we use to write the Exabyte tapes (a
DEC Alpha running DEC OSF/1 V3.0). The tar files created on this system
appear to trigger problems when untarring on SunOS 4 or SGI Irix 4. The
symptoms are that directories in the tar file are created as files.
Subsequent files that are within these directories will not be created.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this problem and will send new
tapes to anyone requesting one.

However there are a number of possible solutions that do not require a new
tape and are hence are faster and easier for both you and us. These are:

1. Use GNU tar to extract (it maybe on your system already, named gtar).
Binaries are available here for ftp.

2. (For SunOS 4 only). Create all the directories prior to extracting. This
can be done by running the mkdir_script included at our ftp site. Type "sh
mkdir_script" followed by the usual untar command.

3. Fix the tar by running the tarfix command (included at our ftp site).
An example, assuming extracting from /dev/rst4, would be:

	tarfix -d -i /dev/rst4 | tar xvf -

This is in place of the usual "tar xvf /dev/rst4" command.

The binaries for GNU tar (gtar) and tarfix are available in the 'sun' and
'sgi' subdirectories of the ftp site. The sources for them are available in
the 'src' subdirectory.

(SunOS only:) If you wish to check the files have extracted correctly, run
the following command:

	find . -ls | awk '{printf "%.1s %s\n",$3,$11}' | sort +1 > filelist.new

Then compare this with the 'filelist' file contained at the ftp site using
'diff filelist filelist.new'. Any differences maybe problems so you are
advised to contact jkb at mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk for further help. I'm sorry, but
the above 'find' command does not work under SGI (unless you have GNU find)
as SGI don't support the -ls option. Hopefully it shouldn't be needed anyway.

James Bonfield (jkb at mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk)   Tel: 01223 402266   Fax: 01223 412282
Medical Research Council - Laboratory of Molecular Biology,
Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2QH, England.

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