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8.3.10 How to Extract GNU-Specific Data Using Other tar Implementations

In previous sections you became acquainted with various quirks necessary to make your archives portable. Sometimes you may need to extract archives containing GNU-specific members using some third-party tar implementation or an older version of GNU tar. Of course your best bet is to have GNU tar installed, but if it is for some reason impossible, this section will explain how to cope without it.

When we speak about GNU-specific members we mean two classes of them: members split between the volumes of a multi-volume archive and sparse members. You will be able to always recover such members if the archive is in PAX format. In addition split members can be recovered from archives in old GNU format. The following subsections describe the required procedures in detail.


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