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debootstrap fails on hard links in tar files


For some days now, I've been trying to complete a successful
installation of Sid into a VMware box, with the 20040209 version of
the debian installer boot floppies.

However, every install I try eventually bombs out at the "installing
base system" stage, with an error "The debootstrap program exited with
an error (return value 1)".  Checking out /var/log/messages shows as
last line:

  tar: Unrecognised file type

Then I ran debootstrap from the Alt-F2 shell, as follows:

  debootstrap --arch i386 sid /target

which first checks and validates all debs OK, but then fails while

  I: Extracting libblkid1...
  I: Extracting e2fsprogs...
  tar: Unrecognised file type

When I unpack the said e2fsprogs_1.34+1.35-WIP-2004.01.31-2_i386.deb
file, it turns out that the contained data.tar.gz file contains a hard
link, which doesn't seem to be supported by busybox's tar:

  # ar -x /target/var/cache/apt/archives/e2fsprogs_1.34\+1.35-WIP-2004.01.31-2_i386.deb
  # tar -xvzf data.tar.gz
  tar: Unrecognised file type

Note that this is BusyBox v1.00-pre5 (Debian 20040101-6). After some
searching around, I found this commit:


and this busybox-cvs-udeb bug report:


So it seems there have been some problems before with different tar
formats, and I guess they are caused by some "too old" or "too new"
format tar files being released lately?  I hope either the tar files
or busybox can be fixed.  The former seems quite unlikely, but the
latter shouldn't be too hard.

I know I did complete a few debian-installer installations
successfully before, some weeks ago, so this must have been a quite
recent thing.  Now that I'm writing this, some messages "tar: removing
leading / from paths" also come to my mind...

Please accept my apologies if this has been covered before, but Google
and the mail archive search turned up nothing for the obvious
keywords.  So from now on, they hopefully will. ;)


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