Total Newbie Can't Unpack Tar Ball on AIX

Henry Hertz Hobbit hhhobbit at
Tue May 21 15:59:34 CEST 2013

On 05/20/2013 08:57 PM, Bettina Huber wrote:
> Been told I now have to use this to develop keys and sign a file that gets ftp'd 
> to the bank.  We do not need to encrypt the file.  Have read some of the 
> documentation, but understand very little of it - I can do basic commands, but 
> nothing fancy, and have simply not heard of most of the terminology thrown 
> around there.  I figured I'd do it one step at a time and eventually get it.
> I downloaded 2.0 and it is now in my /usr/local/bin directory.  The directory 
> location was a total guess - can't find any documentation saying where it should 
> go.  We run AIX 6.1.

This is probably just the source code and if it is then
it should be put into the /usr/local/src folder.

> File name is:   gnupg-2.0.20.tar.bz2
> Command used to unpack:   tar xvjf gnupg-2.0.20.tar.bz2

also going to need a RNG (Random Number Generator)
on AIX.  You may want to sign it on some other system
other than AIX?  I am suggesting this is the EASY way
to do it.  It is the way I would do it and I am a very
good sysadmin.

Usually, I use a "-" in front of the options but unless
AIX has provided support for bzip2 you don't have it.  The
"x" stands for extract, the "v" means verbose, the "j' means
bzip2, and the 'f' means the file is specified next. If
you have man pages set up a "man tar" will give you all
of the options.  To find if you have bzip2, in a terminal

which bzip2
which bunzip2

If you get nothing back then bzip2 isn't on your system. has provided lots of things, but no updates to
gnupg since 2.0.13.  But that does handle your needs and
is available in binary form.  Just remember you may still
have to set up a RNG (Random Number Generator).

I would advise installing bzip2 but even after it is
installed your tar may not support an integrated bzip2
(the 'j' flag).  In that case the above file could still
be extracted with:

bzip2 -dc gnupg-2.0.20.tar.bz2 | tar -xvf -
# or if you don't need a list:
bzip2 -dc gnupg-2.0.20.tar.bz2 | tar -xf -

bullfreewahre has some things for AIX 5.1:

I would go with the bzip2 binary or just zip the folder
with the files using zip or what they can handle.  Then I
would transfer the zipped file to a Linux or protected
Windows system and sign the files there.  Believe me,
it would be far easier to set up your OpenPGP keys
with GnuPG on either Linux or Windows and do it that
way.  Even if you do it from AIX later, you can still
export your keys from Windows or Linux and import them
on AIX.  But setting up GnuPG even from binaries is
NOT trivial on AIX.  Once you have it set up though,
it is just as easy to use GnuPG on AIX as it is on
Windows or Linux.

If you still want to create it from source Here are the
tools you will need at a minimum for making gnupg from
source for AIX:


If you are a real good sysadmin and still want to go this
way, contact me and I will help as much as I can but
remember that I don't have an AIX system in front of me.
Also, many production AIX systems are not supposed to
have gcc on them because that may violate either company
or country regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley or HIPAA,
I will also take it out of group since it is non-gnupg.
Since AIX probably does not have a RNG you will need to
set that up too.  I think it would actually be easier to
generate your keys on Windows or Linux and tranfer them
to AIX if you MUST sign the file(s) on AIX.  You are
biting off a lot of work to put GnuPG on AIX anyway
and doing it from source is difficult.

But if you still want to create it from source, contact me
personally since most of this is AIX specific and only
incidentally related to GnuPG.  Are you sure the files
must be signed on AIX?  Putting GnuPG on AIX is not
trivial, especially if the binary package doesn't
provide some way to set up a RNG.  OTOH, if the binary
install also sets up the RNG ... go right ahead.


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