Problem with tar version 1.29 (in Cygwin 3.6 64 bit) in extracting sym-link files

Eliot Moss
Fri Oct 2 15:43:24 GMT 2020

On 10/2/2020 11:26 AM, vinay Hegde via Cygwin wrote:
> Hi Cygwin Team,
> In Cygwin 3.6, I am facing an issue while using tar.exe for extracting
> .tar.z file.
> Issue summary:
> When I use 'tar.exe' to extract the .tar.z file, it extracts all files
> including symlinks. But symlink file size will be 0KB & it throws
> error 'The file cannot be accessed by the system', if I try to open in
> any Windows editor like notepad or notepad++
> Below are the details:
> -   OS: Windows 2019
> -   Cygwin version installed: 3.6 (tar version: 1.29)
> -   Command used to extract the tar file is: tar -zxvf jre64.tar.Z
> -   'ls -l' on the extracted directory shows:
> lrwxrwxrwx  1 etbuild Domain Users      8 Jul 10  2017 ControlPanel -> jcontrol
> -rwxr-xr-x+ 1 etbuild Domain Users   7734 Mar 15  2017 java
> -rwxr-xr-x+ 1 etbuild Domain Users 128791 Mar 15  2017 javaws
> -rwxr-xr-x+ 1 etbuild Domain Users   6264 Mar 15  2017 jcontrol
> -     As you can see 'ControlPanel' is a symlink file with 0KB
> (8Bytes) size. This file, I cannot open in any Windows editor. It
> throws error like ''The file cannot be accessed by the system'
> -    However, I can open this file in vi editor or I can 'cat' this.
> -    Earlier, I was using Cygwin version 1.7 (tar version: 1.27) & in
> that, this issue was not there. Symlink file size was 1KB & I could
> open it with any Windows editor.
> Please suggest what needs to be done to fix this issue.

Hi, Vinay - Cygwin can use, and create, a variety of forms of links.  Some of these are understood 
by Windows tools, some not.  I suggest you read in the Cygwin documentation about symlinks and 
decide what kind are best for you.  Then you'll need to set that up, delete the existing link, and 
re-create it.  I personally run with CYGWIN=winsymlinks:native, but as we say in Internet land, YMMV.

Regards - Eliot Moss

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