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tar exit codes OSR5

© December 2004 (various authors)

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Subject: Re: tar exit values (return codes)
From: spcecdt@deeptht.armory.com (John DuBois)
Date: Thu, Mar 27, 2003 7:53 PM

In article <3E82E922.2000008@infotop.co.uk>,
Ian Wilson  <scobloke2@infotop.co.uk> wrote:
>Ian Wilson wrote:
>> For 'tar cf /dev/rSt0' in OSR505 I find that return codes are as follows
>>   0 when no problems occurred.
>>   6 when no tape in drive.
>>  16 when someone else is using the device.
>> is there a full list of return codes and meanings?

Unfortunately, no.

>143 when tar is SIGTERMed
>5 when tape is write protected
>130 when tar is INTERRUPTed
>Empiric methods can be so slow!
>Stand by whilst I discover the exit code for "tape drive on fire" ...

Values over 128 represent the OR'ing of 128 with a signal that killed tar (or
any other program).  SIGINT = 2; 128 + 2 = 130; SIGTERM = 15 ...

Skimming the tar source turns up these exit codes:

0 - success
1 - bad directory tree, failed to extract a requested file,
    input file same as output file, failed to open input file,
    could not create link, link table malloc  failure
2 - internationalization error that should never occur,
    checksum error
5 - checksum error
9 (EBADF) - error reading /etc/default/tar, misplaced end of volume
12 (ENOMEM) - failure to allocate memory for buffer
22 (EINVAL) - bad invokation (argument syntax errors),
    bad parameters to options
28 (ENOSPC) - file too large for a volume
78 (ENAMETOOLONG) - cwd name too long
171 (ETOAST) - tape drive on fire
fork()/execl() errno if /bin/pwd & /usr/bin/pwd cannot be executed (unlikely)
pipe(), fork(), and execl() errnos for problems in creating pipe to compressor
read()/write() errno - tape read/write error
fopen() errno - failure to create tempfile
creat() errno - could not create output file
write() errno - failure to write extracted file
mkdir() errno - failure to make directory
dup()/open() errno - failure to reopen input/output
lseek()/reak() errno - failure to seek/skip on archive
fopen(), fread() errno - failure to read from file list file

You got 5 for a write-protected tape because that's the errno EIO (I/O error).

John DuBois  spcecdt@armory.com  KC6QKZ/AE  https://www.armory.com/~spcecdt/

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-> tar exit codes OSR5


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Fri Jul 30 21:43:24 2010: 8868   Mike


Tar is exiting with 64. What does it mean?

Fri Jul 30 23:23:15 2010: 8869   TonyLawrence


Unknown tar on an unknown operating system. How would we know? If you have source, look it up.

Tue Nov 15 06:48:07 2011: 10183   ShellyS


I received the exit code 64 also. In my case, I found out that the tar command failed because the first file in my archive started with '-', and tar apparently saw that as another command line option. To resolve my issue, I added '--' to the tar command like so:
tar cvf mybackup.tar -- *

The '--' tells the tar command that no more command line options are coming.


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