large file support and clitar.c etc

Richard Sharpe rsharpe at
Fri Jan 31 19:53:50 GMT 2003

On Fri, 31 Jan 2003, Brian Poole wrote:

> Quoting Richard Sharpe (rsharpe at from 31 January 2003:
> > 
> > There have been some changes to support file sizes larger than 2-4GB. They 
> > should appear in 2.2.8.
> Have any luck with the list I sent you ? I saw the tar reply which I 
> appreciate being answered.


Now that we have fixed some problems to do with large file transfer, there 
remains an issue with clitar.c and its handling of files larger than about 

I am told that some variants write USTAR headers that only use 11 or 12 of 
the 13 possible OCTAL digits in the length field.

To support larger files in the tar archive, we would need to write headers 
in a portable fashion.

This, I believe, means that we would need to cut the file up into chunks, 
and then write each chunk, one after the other, with two headers. One 
indicating the file name etc, and the second indicating that the chunk is 
a continuation of the previous chunk and perhaps an offset.

This way, at least the rest of the archive can be processed by archivers 
that do not understand large files.

Does anyone see any problems with this, and does anyone have any time to 
support this effort?

Richard Sharpe, rsharpe[at], rsharpe[at], 

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