[ale] tar probelms

Byron A Jeff byron at cc.gatech.edu
Tue Oct 9 09:40:44 EDT 2001

> Been there, done that.
> The problem is not with TAR, but rather with the ext2 filesystem, which
> will not permit a file of >2.1GB.  When you hit this limit, TAR will
> blindly carry on, just like nothing was wrong.

I just want to clear up a miconception. The ext2 filesystem is 64 bit and
will function with huge filesizes just fine on machines that have a 64 bits
for the other layers. Here's the filesystem stack:

kernel VFS
disk filesystem

The maximum size is the minimum of the sizes that any of the 4 can handle.
However because the disk filesystem is the most visible part, it usually gets
the blame. Here's the stack on a typical Intel system with a 2.2.X kernel:

application         32
libraries           32
kernel VFS          32
disk filesystem     64
Max filesize        32

So the top three layers needs to be upgraded to 64 bits before you can do
64 bit ops. The 2.4.X kernel VFS is 64 bits. The latest libraries are 64 bits.
Apps are now being compiled with 64 bit offsets. 

It's coming. Slowly. But ext2 isn't the blame here.


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