*BSD News Article 94791

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From: js@cs.tu-berlin.de (Joerg Schilling)
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Subject: STAR (tape archiver) source code released
Date: 30 Apr 1997 10:57:06 GMT
Organization: Technical University of Berlin, Germany
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Summary: Star is a fast and Posix compliant tape archiver
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Star, the fastest tar archiver for UNIX is now available in source.

Star has many improvements compared to other tar 
imlementations (including gnu tar). See below for a short description
of the highlight of star.

Star is located on:


Revision history (short)

1982	First version on UNOS (extract only)
1985	Port to UNIX (fully funtional version)
1985	Added pre Posix method of handling special files/devices
1986	First experiments with fifo as external process.
1993	Remote tape access
1993	diff option
1994	Fifo with shared memory integrated into star
1994	Very long filenames and sparse files
1994	Gnutar and Ustar(Posix) handling added
1994	Xstar format (extended Posix) defined and introduced
1995	Ported to many platforms

Supported platforms:

SunOS Solaris Linux HP-UX DG/UX IRIX AIX FreeBSD


Star is the fastest known implementation of a tar archiver.
Star is able to make backups with more than 12MB/s if the
disk and tape drive support such a speed. This is more than
double the speed that ufsdump will get.
Ampex got 13.5 MB/s with their new DLT tape drive.
Ufsdump got a maximum speed of about 6MB/s with the same hardware.

Star development started 1982, development is still in progress.
The current version of star is stable and 
I never did my backups with other tools than star.

Its main advantages over other tar implementations are:

	fifo			- keeps the tape streaming.
				  This gives you faster backups than
				  you can achieve with ufsdump, if the
				  size of the filesystem is > 1 GByte.

	pattern matcher		- for a convenient user interface
				  (see manual page for more details).
				  To archive/extract a subset of files.

	sophisticated diff	- user tailorable interface for comparing
				  tar archives against file trees
				  This is one of the most interesting parts
				  of the star implementation.

	no namelen limitation	- Pathnames up to 1024 Bytes may be archived.
				  (The same limitation applies to linknames)
				  This limit may be expanded in future
				  without changing the method to record long names.

	deals with all 3 times	- stores/restores all 3 times of a file
				  (even creation time)
				  may reset access time after doing backup

	does not clobber files	- more recent copies on disk will not be 
				  clobbered from tape
				  This may be the main advantage over other
				  tar implementations. This allows
				  automatically repairing of corruptions
				  after a crash & fsck (Check for differences
				  after doing this with the diff option).

	automatic byte swap	- star automatically detects swapped archives
				  and transparently reads them the right way

	automatic format detect	- star automatically detects several common
				  archive formats and adopts to them.
				  Supported archive types are:
				  Old tar, gnu tar, ansi tar, star.

	fully ansi compatible	- Star is fully ANSI/Posix 1003.1 compatible.
				  See README.otherbugs for a complete description
				  of bugs found in other tar implementations.

This is the first source release of star that I put on the net.

Have a look at the manual page, it is included in the distribution.


Joerg Schilling
Seestr. 110
D-13353 Berlin

Email: 	joerg@schily.isdn.cs.tu-berlin.de, js@cs.tu-berlin.de

Please mail bugs and suggestions to me.
EMail:	joerg@schily.isdn.cs.tu-berlin.de (home) Jörg Schilling D-13353 Berlin
	js@cs.tu-berlin.de		  (uni)  If you don't have iso-8859-1
	jes@fokus.gmd.de		  (work) chars my name is
URL:	http://www.fokus.gmd.de/usr/schilling    J"org Schilling