File size limit for TAR command

I am running a server with redhat 4 es update 4 x86_64.

We have some old hpux boxes and we use tar for tape backup.  But there is a limit of 2gb on a single file.

I read that with tar1.13 or higher there isn't that limit.  But what I want to know is what is the new limit.  Right now we have single files in the range of 20gb and they are only going to get larger.

We are wanting to purchase a tape system for the redhat machine and use the tar that is on there.  But I just don't want to buy the stuff only to find out the new limit is 15gb or something.

So does anybody know the new limit of tar1.13 or higher.

Thanks
Fixitben
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fixitbenAsked:
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grbladesConnect With a Mentor Commented:
http://bugs.busybox.net/view.php?id=783
There is a limit of 64GB for each individual file in a tar archive. There is no limit for the maximum tar archive length.

Your operating system will also have single file size limits. The following article contains some good examples:-
http://www.suse.de/~aj/linux_lfs.html
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grbladesCommented:
Hello fixitben,

2GB is the 32bit limit and that is where the limit comes from. I am not sure what the exact limit will be but gertenly in the TB range.

Regards,
grblades
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fixitbenAuthor Commented:
Do you know of any documentation of this?  I just need to be certain before I move forward.


Thanks
Fixitben
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omarfaridCommented:
Hi,

Please see the link below, it says 8GB:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tar_(file_format)

The link below gives different limits:

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=25116

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Gabriel OrozcoSolution ArchitectCommented:
for very big size files, I would select instead cpio, since it ca create bigger files and if the archive become corrupt, I still can save most of the files.

http://cybertiggyr.com/gene/cpio-howto/
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fixitbenAuthor Commented:
Looking around it seems that 8 exabytes 2^63 is the new limit with tar 1.13.  The old limit was 2gb 2^31.  But that doesn't mean that your filesystem can take that.  I was able to tar a 20gig file on the local disk, so I am assuming that if I was to send it to tape it would do the same.   Thanks for your help guys.  

Thanks
Fixitben
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