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I need file archive format with the following features

  • It is compressed (not plain tar or iso).
  • It can backup (and restore) linux root file system keeping owners, symlinks, sparse files, devices, etc (like tar).
  • It should list files in archive quickly (like zip).
  • It should extract one file quickly (like zip).

As far as I know zip, rar and 7z do not preserve owners.

Newest tar format (POSIX 1003.1-2001, pax) still list and extract files slowly. It seem that it reads and uncompresses the whole archive to list all files.

Maybe I missing some archive formats or tricks like using squashfs?

1

DAR: http://dar.linux.free.fr/ fits all of your requirements.

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