Total Newbie Can't Unpack Tar Ball on AIX

Pete Stephenson pete at
Tue May 21 12:22:40 CEST 2013

On Mon, May 20, 2013 at 10:57 PM, Bettina Huber <BHuber at> wrote:
> This appears to be the correct command, because I've seen it in several
> places in my research.  But I can't do anything until I get this worked out.
> I was hoping this would pretty simple - install (which, frankly, I don't see
> any info on how to do, either), generate keys, export key to bank, voila.
> Boy, was I wrong.

Hi Bettina,

I'm not familiar with the details of AIX, but it may have some sort of
package manager or other centralized way to install software. I would
hope they'd have a packaged version of GnuPG that would allow for you
to easily install it. Once installed, it should be fairly
straightforward to use.

In your particular case, it looks like tar for AIX doesn't support
bzip2 and so it displays the "I don't understand what you want, so
here's the how-to-use-this-program" help message instead.

You'd need to unbzip2 it first.

Running "bunzip2 gnupg-2.0.20.tar-1.bz2" should unbzip2 the compressed
file, while "tar -xvf gnupg-2.0.20.tar-1" (why is there a -1 at the
end of the file? That's odd.) will then untar the tarball.

The way you're doing things is decidedly non-trivial: it looks like
you've downloaded the raw source code for GnuPG. To use it you would
need to compile it and then install it. This is almost certainly not
the preferred way of doing this and is usually something done by
developers/programmers rather than average users.

You should check to see if there's a packaged version of GnuPG for
AIX. A quick Google search yields
<> for GnuPG 1.4.x and
<> for GnuPG 2.0.x,
which looks promising, though I have no idea how reliable that
particular site may be. Either version should be suitable for your


Pete Stephenson

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