Status of libarchive/bsdtar maintainership

Martin Matuska mm at
Sat Feb 2 00:00:41 UTC 2019

Hi Warner and Eugene,

our resources at the libarchive project are currently very limited and
the progress is slow. The project founder and leader Tim Kientzle is
irresponsive for more than a month now. The only active core developers
are me and Joerg Sonnenberger (joerg at NetBSD). At the moment Joerg deals
mostly with writing bugfixes for bugs found oss-fuzz and does some
pull-request reviews. I am currently reviewing and merging bugfix and
some feature pull requests from GitHub and have finally managed to set
up automated testing via Cirrus CI that includes FreeBSD to speed up
evaluation of new pull requests. We actually do rely on code coming from
external developers. The fastest way of getting code in is submitting a
pull request. If possible a testable one, including tests for the bugs
fixed or features implemented.


On 02.02.19 00:35, Warner Losh wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 31, 2019 at 11:19 PM Eugene Grosbein <eugen at
> <mailto:eugen at>> wrote:
>     On 01.02.2019 11:10, Warner Losh wrote:
>     > On Thu, Jan 31, 2019, 8:22 PM Eugene Grosbein
>     <eugen at <mailto:eugen at>
>     <mailto:eugen at <mailto:eugen at>> wrote:
>     >
>     >     Hi!
>     >
>     >     I wonder what is status of our contrib/libarchive and
>     bsdtar/bsdcpio etc. in modern versions of FreeBSD
>     >     in a sense of serious bug fixing. Long story short: I faced
>     a bug in the libarchive bundled with 11.2
>     >     that makes it impossible to create reliable backups of live
>     file system or its subtree
>     >     using cron+bsdtar utility that delegate actial work to the
>     libarchive that just aborts
>     >     if a file disappears (is removed) in process (GNU tar
>     continues with just warning).
>     >
>     >     This is serious issue for me as I used 'tar' command to make
>     backups for distinct subtrees
>     >     since FreeBSD 6.x and when my GPS+ntpd subsystem went insane
>     and shifted system clock to 3 years
>     >     in the future, I lost data in several thousands of RRD
>     databases and looked for backups to restore them
>     >     and found only small portion of databases in the tar instead
>     of full backup.
>     >
>     >     I've create the PR
> and later
>     attached a patch
>     >     solving the problem in same way as GNU tar deals with it.
>     >
>     >     Martin Matuska (mm) asked me to create an issue at GitHub
>     for libarchive.
>     >     I have no GitHub account nor I need one, and he was so kind
>     and created it himself:
>     >
>     >
>     >     Almost 3 months have passed and no response from upstream.
>     >     Should we go ahead and fix it despite of it is part of contrib?
>     >
>     >
>     > If you fix it, protocol is to submit it upstream first.
>     That was done 3 months ago.
> I see the problem report in the github, but no pull request. Did I
> miss it?
>     > It causes fewer problems in the long run. While it is tempting
>     to just fix it in FreeBSD and move on,
>     > almost every time we've done that in the past someone else has
>     had to come in and fix the mess.
>     >
>     > Do you have a fix? Can you put it up for review somewhere?
>     It is attached to mentioned PR:
> Did you submit it as a pull request? That seems to be how this
> upstream takes in code.
>     > We are no where near a release, so there is no reason to rush
>     this in.
>     I waited for almost 3 months already. It seems, there would be no
>     response at all.
> They didn't fix it in 3 months, sure. But it wasn't clear from the
> issue that you had an actual fix (I certainly missed that the first
> time through when I only looked at the github and not at our bug
> database). I'd try submitting a pull request and see what happens. I'd
> also send an email to mm@ telling him about the pull request and
> asking when he'll have time to look into  integrating it or commenting
> on it. If he won't have time to get to it soon, I'd make the commit
> referencing the upstream pull request so the next person who imports
> things will notice if they tweak it before accepting the request.
> Warner 

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