The tar4ibd Binary

The tar4ibd binary is a specially patched version of tar that understands how to handle InnoDB / XtraDB data files correctly:

  • It includes the InnoDB page checksum calculations, so it can verify that the pages it copies are not corrupt from InnoDB ‘s point of view.

  • It looks at the data it copies in multiples of 4kb, from 16kB down to 4kB, to see if they are InnoDB pages. In this way it detects any InnoDB data page in the 4-16kB range automatically.

  • If InnoDB ‘s checksum algorithm reports that a page is corrupt, it tries to read it again; it retries 9 times.

  • If possible, it uses the following two POSIX fadvise() calls to optimize operating system cache usage, in the same fashion as xtrabackup:

    posix_fadvise(filefd, 0, 0, POSIX_FADV_SEQUENTIAL);
    posix_fadvise(filefd, 0, 0, POSIX_FADV_DONTNEED);

Special Considerations

  • The tar4ibd binary produces archives that can be extracted with standard GNU tar, but you must use the -i option, or only part of your data will be extracted.
  • It is used only for creating archives with backup files from XtraBackup, options -g (--listed-incremental) and -z (--gzip, --gunzip) are not supported and should not be used with tar4ibd.
    • Compression at the moment of the backup should be achieved by streaming the backup (--compress) and piping through a compress utility (examples - with innobackupex - can be found here)
    • Data from incremental backups is appended to the base backup at the preparation step, see the rationale of the process here.
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This documentation is developed in Launchpad as part of the Percona XtraBackup source code.
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