Weird errors with gtar on 5.3-BETA7

Christopher Nehren apeiron at
Wed Oct 6 16:39:29 PDT 2004

On Wed, 2004-10-06 at 17:55 -0500, Kirk Strauser wrote:
> I've been having problems with my nightly Amanda backups for a few weeks; some 
> of the filesystems on my FreeBSD server aren't being tarred.  I've traced it 
> back to an error condition in GNU tar that I don't really understand:
>   # gtar clf /dev/null /
>   gtar: Removing leading `/' from member names
>   gtar: /proc: Cannot savedir: Invalid argument
>   gtar: Error exit delayed from previous errors
> I'm not sure what the "Cannot savedir: Invalid argument" message means and 
> Google wasn't much help.  Any thoughts?

It means that you're trying to archive a file system which isn't
actually a file system -- in this case, /proc. You can use gtar's -X
option to exclude /proc and other non-file system paths from your

You don't happen to be using procfs on a 5.x system, do you? procfs is
notoriously insecure (and, in my opinion, its very functionality is
insecure -- you shouldn't be able to see anything about anyone else's
processes. Period.). If you are using it, why do you need it?
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