Thanks to the many who replied to my question about how to work around
the "args too long" error. (I had a list of filenames for tar that was
One answer is: use xargs. Xargs divides up the arguments into several
lines and runs the tar command for each line. For reading a long tar tape,
this has the disadvantage that you have to wait several hours for it to
read the tape multiple times.
Another answer is: the limit on the length of a command line is set when
the kernel is compiled, so you have to get the kernel source and recompile
it to change the limit.
I redesigned my whole program instead, to use several small tar files on