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Updated: Thursday, June 13, 2019

libarchive (3lib)


libarchive - functions for reading and writing streaming archives


Please see following description for synopsis


LIBARCHIVE(3lib)                                              LIBARCHIVE(3lib)

       libarchive - functions for reading and writing streaming archives

       The libarchive library provides a flexible interface for reading and
       writing archives in various formats such as tar and cpio.  libarchive
       also supports reading and writing archives compressed using various
       compression filters such as gzip and bzip2.  The library is inherently
       stream-oriented; readers serially iterate through the archive, writers
       serially add things to the archive.  In particular, note that there is
       currently no built-in support for random access nor for in-place modi-

       When reading an archive, the library automatically detects the format
       and the compression.  The library currently has read support for:

            o      old-style tar archives,

            o      most variants of the POSIX ``ustar'' format,

            o      the POSIX ``pax interchange'' format,

            o      GNU-format tar archives,

            o      most common cpio archive formats,

            o      ISO9660 CD images (including RockRidge and Joliet exten-

            o      Zip archives,

            o      ar archives (including GNU/SysV and BSD extensions),

            o      Microsoft CAB archives,

            o      LHA archives,

            o      mtree file tree descriptions,

            o      RAR archives,

            o      XAR archives.
       The library automatically detects archives compressed with gzip(1),
       bzip2(1), xz(1), lzip(1), or compress(1) and decompresses them trans-
       parently.  It can similarly detect and decode archives processed with
       uuencode(1) or which have an rpm(1) header.

       When writing an archive, you can specify the compression to be used and
       the format to use.  The library can write

            o      POSIX-standard ``ustar'' archives,

            o      POSIX ``pax interchange format'' archives,

            o      POSIX octet-oriented cpio archives,

            o      Zip archive,

            o      two different variants of shar archives,

            o      ISO9660 CD images,

            o      7-Zip archives,

            o      ar archives,

            o      mtree file tree descriptions,

            o      XAR archives.
       Pax interchange format is an extension of the tar archive format that
       eliminates essentially all of the limitations of historic tar formats
       in a standard fashion that is supported by POSIX-compliant pax(1)
       implementations on many systems as well as several newer implementa-
       tions of tar(1).  Note that the default write format will suppress the
       pax extended attributes for most entries; explicitly requesting pax
       format will enable those attributes for all entries.

       The read and write APIs are accessed through the archive_read_XXX()
       functions and the archive_write_XXX() functions, respectively, and
       either can be used independently of the other.

       The rest of this manual page provides an overview of the library opera-
       tion.  More detailed information can be found in the individual manual
       pages for each API or utility function.

       See archive_read(3).

       See archive_write(3).

       The archive_write_disk(3) API allows you to write archive_entry(3)
       objects to disk using the same API used by archive_write(3).  The ar-
       chive_write_disk(3) API is used internally by archive_read_extract(;)
       using it directly can provide greater control over how entries get
       written to disk.  This API also makes it possible to share code between
       archive-to-archive copy and archive-to-disk extraction operations.

       The archive_read_disk(3) supports for populating archive_entry(3)
       objects from information in the filesystem.  This includes the informa-
       tion accessible from the stat(2) system call as well as ACLs, extended
       attributes, and other metadata.  The archive_read_disk(3) API also sup-
       ports iterating over directory trees, which allows directories of files
       to be read using an API compatible with the archive_read(3) API.

       Detailed descriptions of each function are provided by the correspond-
       ing manual pages.

       All of the functions utilize an opaque Tn struct archive datatype that
       provides access to the archive contents.

       The Tn struct archive_entry structure contains a complete description
       of a single archive entry.  It uses an opaque interface that is fully
       documented in archive_entry(3).

       Users familiar with historic formats should be aware that the newer
       variants have eliminated most restrictions on the length of textual
       fields.  Clients should not assume that filenames, link names, user
       names, or group names are limited in length.  In particular, pax inter-
       change format can easily accommodate pathnames in arbitrary character
       sets that exceed PATH_MAX.

       Most functions return ARCHIVE_OK (zero) on success, non-zero on error.
       The return value indicates the general severity of the error, ranging
       from ARCHIVE_WARN, which indicates a minor problem that should probably
       be reported to the user, to ARCHIVE_FATAL, which indicates a serious
       problem that will prevent any further operations on this archive.  On
       error, the archive_errno() function can be used to retrieve a numeric
       error code (see errno(2)).  The archive_error_string() returns a tex-
       tual error message suitable for display.

       archive_read_new() and archive_write_new() return pointers to an allo-
       cated and initialized Tn struct archive object.

       archive_read_data() and archive_write_data() return a count of the num-
       ber of bytes actually read or written.  A value of zero indicates the
       end of the data for this entry.  A negative value indicates an error,
       in which case the archive_errno() and archive_error_string() functions
       can be used to obtain more information.

       There are character set conversions within the archive_entry(3) func-
       tions that are impacted by the currently-selected locale.

       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |Availability   | library/libarchive |
       |Stability      | Uncommitted        |
       tar(1), archive_entry(3), archive_read(3), archive_util(3), ar-

       The libarchive library first appeared in FreeBSD 5.3.

       -nosplit The libarchive library was originally written by Tim Kientzle

       Some archive formats support information that is not supported by Tn
       struct archive_entry.  Such information cannot be fully archived or
       restored using this library.  This includes, for example, comments,
       character sets, or the arbitrary key/value pairs that can appear in pax
       interchange format archives.

       Conversely, of course, not all of the information that can be stored in
       an Tn struct archive_entry is supported by all formats.  For example,
       cpio formats do not support nanosecond timestamps; old tar formats do
       not support large device numbers.

       The ISO9660 reader cannot yet read all ISO9660 images; it should learn
       how to seek.

       The AR writer requires the client program to use two passes, unlike all
       other libarchive writers.

       This software was built from source available at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.  The original community
       source was downloaded from  http://www.libarchive.org/down-

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at http://www.libarchive.org/.

                                March 18, 2012                LIBARCHIVE(3lib)