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Old 07-05-2003, 05:18 PM   #1
Tom Bozack
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Registered: Dec 2000
Location: Ridgecrest, California
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Unhappy betrayed by tar

I've been using tar for years to back up my systems. For most of this time tar has been a good friend. But recently it let me down.

It all started when I accidentally deleted /etc (don't ask!). No problem, I thought, because I have a current tar backup. So I restored /etc from the backup, only to find out that all of the rc files were restored as empty files, not as symbolic links to the appropriate files in init.d. My old friend tar had betrayed me! When I did a tar tvf of the tar archive, it showed the rc files properly as symbolic links, but I couldn't find a way to restore them. I was also puzzled to discover that some other symbolic links were restored properly. Reading the gnutar manual didn't shed any light on the problem -- at least not that I could understand.

I finally ended up spending an all-nighter manually recreating the symbolic links. Arrrgggg!!!

Does anyone know what gives here? Why did tar let me down when I needed it the most. And what can I do to prevent this from happening again (other than not blowing away /etc).

Old 07-06-2003, 09:58 PM   #2
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Registered: Jun 2001
Location: South Alabama
Distribution: Fedora / RedHat / SuSE
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Was this a newly created, appended, or updated file?

I've never heard of it before, but I use tar myself and wonder if I may have the same problem.
Old 07-07-2003, 01:21 PM   #3
Tom Bozack
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Registered: Dec 2000
Location: Ridgecrest, California
Posts: 25

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The tar archive file is nothing special. I tar my system about once a week. So the tar archive that I restored from was a plain vanilla file - not appended or updated.




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