Here some comments about files and packages you will find on this FTP server:

  • Filenames that end in ".Z" are compressed to decrease DASD space and transmission time. Typically, a utility called "uncompress" will restore them. You can either inflate the file with the utility or use the function built into its three archival utilities: cpio, tar, and pax with the use of the '-z' option.
  • Filenames that end in ".gz" are compressed by gzip and must be inflated with gzip's gunzip utility. gzip is not included with z/OS, but you can get a copy here. The archival utilities (pax, tar, and cpio) cannot use gzip directly but you can avoid inflating the file on disk by using gzip's zcat utility (sometimes referred to as gzcat) in a pipeline: gzcat foobar.tar.gz | pax -r
  • A filename that contains "cpio", "tar", or "pax" normally indicates an archivial utility was used to create the file and that the file "contains" one or more files inside it. The cpio utility can be used to read "cpio" files, the tar utility can be used to read "tar" files, and the pax utility can be used to read "cpio", "tar", *or* "pax" files. Since pax can read archive files written by any of the three utilities, I will give an example of reading a file with only pax: pax -rf foobar.pax
  • A filename that contains "shar" normally indicates the file is a "shell archive". This is a shell script that may be executed by the shell to automatically unwind all the files in the archive. sh foobar.shar
  • cpio, tar, and pax archive files on this disk will typically contain EBCDIC data. The archive files themselves should be considered to be binary. If you are unwinding these files on OpenMVS, you will want them to be in EBCDIC so no changes are necessary. If you wish to unwind the files on an ASCII-based system, you will need to perform translation on the files before you can use them (perhaps using the "dd" utility with an option "conv=ascii").
  • You should take care to use BINARY transmission options when dealing with non-text files such as archives produced by cpio, tar, or pax or any filename ending in ".Z". Specifically, make sure you perform FTP "get"s in binary mode and and OPUTs with the BINARY option. Failure to do this will corrupt your file and force you to repeat one or more steps you performed to obtain the file to begin with.

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