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8.3.1 Portable Names

Use portable file and member names. A name is portable if it contains only ASCII letters and digits, ‘/’, ‘.’, ‘_’, and ‘-’; it cannot be empty, start with ‘-’ or ‘//’, or contain ‘/-’. Avoid deep directory nesting. For portability to old Unix hosts, limit your file name components to 14 characters or less.

If you intend to have your tar archives to be read under MSDOS, you should not rely on case distinction for file names, and you might use the GNU doschk program for helping you further diagnosing illegal MSDOS names, which are even more limited than System V’s.


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