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I need to know the version number of tar used to create a specific tar file. How can I do that?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can't. The TAR file format does not store any information about the program used to create it.

I can't think of a reason why you would need that information, anyway.

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I have an old tar file created before which causes some troubles to our product. I need to know the tar version to re-create that tar file. The latest tar cannot reproduce this issue. And I am sure the old tar file is not corrupted. – aXqd May 19 '10 at 8:17
I would like to know how I can tell the format used to create a specific tar file. On my current system, it has v7/oldgnu/gnu/ustar/posix formats. I guess that's how the problem occurs. – aXqd May 19 '10 at 8:22
hmm... you could also try the file utility on Linux/UNIX to see if it gives you any information about the file type. If that doesn't get you the information you need, though, my suggestion would be to open up the problem file in a hex editor and compare the bytes against the Wikipedia article, or some other specification of the various TAR formats. – David Z May 19 '10 at 23:52

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