[lsb-discuss] The pax file archiver and LSB

Mats Wichmann mats at wichmann.us
Thu Mar 13 22:17:03 UTC 2014

On 03/13/14 14:27, Bruce Dubbs wrote:
> R P Herrold wrote:
>> On Thu, 13 Mar 2014, R P Herrold wrote:
>>> As I recall, we had an open bug ... /me routs through the pile
>>> ...
>> seems to be:
>>     https://lsbbugs.linuxfoundation.org/show_bug.cgi?id=2785
> Thanks.  That addresses the problem but doesn't solve it.  I looked at
> the heirloom cvs repo and it has pax under the cpio directory.  The
> files are dated 2009.  (Note: CVS in 2014?)
> The bug references libacrchive 3.1 and we've had libarchive-3.1.2 for
> some time now.  That library does seem to support the 'pax interchange
> format'
> I don't see a good way to implement this.  It was suggested in the bug
> in 2009 to remove it or at least make it optional.  The question
> remains: If no one is implementing it or maintaining it, why is it in
> the LSB?

It's in LSB simply because it's in POSIX, which has a very lengthy
rationale for why something new, which still maintained compatibility
with old tar and cpio, was needed.

Clearly, if LSB is supposed to represent Linux best practice (and Linux
does try hard to be POSIX conforming where it makes sense), and that
practice does not include a pax utility any longer, then the path is

The reason this doesn't get dealt with is there are not enough people
contributing to LSB any longer, and those that are around are vastly

At the very least, LSB should describe that pax may not implement the
pax file format, as noted in the bug.

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