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TAR


Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: March 2012
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NAME

tar – manual page for tar 1.23
 

SYNOPSIS

tar

[OPTION...] [FILE]…
 

DESCRIPTION

GNU `tar’ saves many files together into a single tape or disk archive, and can
restore individual files from the archive.
 

EXAMPLES


tar -cf archive.tar foo bar

# Create archive.tar from files foo and bar.
tar -tvf archive.tar

# List all files in archive.tar verbosely.
tar -xf archive.tar

# Extract all files from archive.tar.

Main operation mode:
-A, –catenate, –concatenate

append tar files to an archive
-c, –create

create a new archive
-d, –diff, –compare

find differences between archive and file system
–delete

delete from the archive (not on mag tapes!)
-r, –append

append files to the end of an archive
-t, –list

list the contents of an archive
–test-label

test the archive volume label and exit
-u, –update

only append files newer than copy in archive
-x, –extract, –get

extract files from an archive


 

Common Options:


-C, –directory=DIR

change to directory DIR
-f, –file=ARCHIVE

use archive file or device ARCHIVE
-j, –bzip2

filter the archive through bzip2
-J, –xz

filter the archive through xz
-p, –preserve-permissions

extract information about file permissions (default for superuser)
-v, –verbose

verbosely list files processed
-z, –gzip

filter the archive through gzip



 

Operation modifiers:


–check-device

check device numbers when creating incremental
archives (default)
-g, –listed-incremental=FILE

handle new GNU-format incremental backup
-G, –incremental

handle old GNU-format incremental backup
–ignore-failed-read

do not exit with nonzero on unreadable files
–level=NUMBER

dump level for created listed-incremental archive
-n, –seek

archive is seekable
–no-check-device

do not check device numbers when creating
incremental archives
–no-seek

archive is not seekable
–occurrence[=NUMBER]

process only the NUMBERth occurrence of each file
in the archive; this option is valid only in
conjunction with one of the subcommands –delete,
–diff, –extract or –list and when a list of
files is given either on the command line or via
the -T option; NUMBER defaults to 1
–sparse-version=MAJOR[.MINOR]

set version of the sparse format to use (implies
–sparse)
-S, –sparse

handle sparse files efficiently


 

Overwrite control:


-k, –keep-old-files

don’t replace existing files when extracting,
treat them as errors
–skip-old-files

don’t replace existing files when extracting,
silently skip over them
–keep-newer-files

don’t replace existing files that are newer than
their archive copies
–no-overwrite-dir

preserve metadata of existing directories
–overwrite

overwrite existing files when extracting
–overwrite-dir

overwrite metadata of existing directories when
extracting (default)
–recursive-unlink

empty hierarchies prior to extracting directory
–remove-files

remove files after adding them to the archive
-U, –unlink-first

remove each file prior to extracting over it
-W, –verify

attempt to verify the archive after writing it


 

Select output stream:



–ignore-command-error ignore exit codes of children
–no-ignore-command-error

treat non-zero exit codes of children as
error
-O, –to-stdout

extract files to standard output
–to-command=COMMAND

pipe extracted files to another program

Handling of file attributes:
–acls

Save the ACLs to the archive
–atime-preserve[=METHOD]

preserve access times on dumped files, either
by restoring the times after reading
(METHOD=’replace'; default) or by not setting the
times in the first place (METHOD=’system’)
–delay-directory-restore

delay setting modification times and
permissions of extracted directories until the end
of extraction
–group=NAME

force NAME as group for added files
–mode=CHANGES

force (symbolic) mode CHANGES for added files
–mtime=DATE-OR-FILE

set mtime for added files from DATE-OR-FILE
-m, –touch

don’t extract file modified time
–no-acls

Don’t extract the ACLs from the archive
–no-delay-directory-restore

cancel the effect of –delay-directory-restore
option
–no-same-owner

extract files as yourself (default for ordinary
users)
–no-same-permissions

apply the user’s umask when extracting permissions
from the archive (default for ordinary users)
–no-selinux

Don’t extract the SELinux context from the archive
–no-xattrs

Don’t extract the user/root xattrs from the
archive
–numeric-owner

always use numbers for user/group names
–owner=NAME

force NAME as owner for added files
-p, –preserve-permissions, –same-permissions

extract information about file permissions
(default for superuser)
–preserve

same as both -p and -s
–same-owner

try extracting files with the same ownership as
exists in the archive (default for superuser)
-s, –preserve-order, –same-order

sort names to extract to match archive
–selinux

Save the SELinux context to the archive
–xattrs

Save the user/root xattrs to the archive


 

Device selection and switching:


-f, –file=ARCHIVE

use archive file or device ARCHIVE
–force-local

archive file is local even if it has a colon
-F, –info-script=NAME, –new-volume-script=NAME

run script at end of each tape (implies -M)
-L, –tape-length=NUMBER

change tape after writing NUMBER x 1024 bytes
-M, –multi-volume

create/list/extract multi-volume archive
–rmt-command=COMMAND

use given rmt COMMAND instead of rmt
–rsh-command=COMMAND

use remote COMMAND instead of rsh
–volno-file=FILE

use/update the volume number in FILE


 

Device blocking:


-b, –blocking-factor=BLOCKS

BLOCKS x 512 bytes per record
-B, –read-full-records

reblock as we read (for 4.2BSD pipes)
-i, –ignore-zeros

ignore zeroed blocks in archive (means EOF)
–record-size=NUMBER

NUMBER of bytes per record, multiple of 512


 

Archive format selection:


-H, –format=FORMAT

create archive of the given format

FORMAT is one of the following:
gnu

GNU tar 1.13.x format
oldgnu

GNU format as per tar <= 1.12
pax

POSIX 1003.1-2001 (pax) format
posix

same as pax
ustar

POSIX 1003.1-1988 (ustar) format
v7

old V7 tar format
–old-archive, –portability

same as –format=v7
–pax-option=keyword[[:]=value][,keyword[[:]=value]]…

control pax keywords
–posix

same as –format=posix
-V, –label=TEXT

create archive with volume name TEXT; at
list/extract time, use TEXT as a globbing pattern
for volume name


 

Compression options:


-a, –auto-compress

use archive suffix to determine the compression
program
-I, –use-compress-program=PROG

filter through PROG (must accept -d)
-j, –bzip2

filter the archive through bzip2
-J, –xz

filter the archive through xz
–lzip

filter the archive through lzip
–lzma

filter the archive through lzma

–lzop
–no-auto-compress

do not use archive suffix to determine the
compression program
-z, –gzip, –gunzip, –ungzip

filter the archive through gzip
-Z, –compress, –uncompress

filter the archive through compress


 

Local file selection:


–add-file=FILE

add given FILE to the archive (useful if its name
starts with a dash)
–backup[=CONTROL]

backup before removal, choose version CONTROL
-C, –directory=DIR

change to directory DIR
–exclude=PATTERN

exclude files, given as a PATTERN
–exclude-backups

exclude backup and lock files
–exclude-caches

exclude contents of directories containing
CACHEDIR.TAG, except for the tag file itself
–exclude-caches-all

exclude directories containing CACHEDIR.TAG
–exclude-caches-under exclude everything under directories containing

CACHEDIR.TAG
–exclude-tag=FILE

exclude contents of directories containing FILE,
except for FILE itself

–exclude-tag-all=FILE exclude directories containing FILE
–exclude-tag-under=FILE

exclude everything under directories
containing FILE
–exclude-vcs

exclude version control system directories
-h, –dereference

follow symlinks; archive and dump the files they
point to
–hard-dereference

follow hard links; archive and dump the files they
refer to
-K, –starting-file=MEMBER-NAME

begin at member MEMBER-NAME in the archive
–newer-mtime=DATE

compare date and time when data changed only
–no-null

disable the effect of the previous –null option
–no-recursion

avoid descending automatically in directories
–no-unquote

do not unquote filenames read with -T

–null -T reads null-terminated names, disable -C
-N, –newer=DATE-OR-FILE, –after-date=DATE-OR-FILE

only store files newer than DATE-OR-FILE
–one-file-system

stay in local file system when creating archive
-P, –absolute-names

don’t strip leading `/’s from file names
–recursion

recurse into directories (default)
–suffix=STRING

backup before removal, override usual suffix (‘~’
unless overridden by environment variable
SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX)
-T, –files-from=FILE

get names to extract or create from FILE
–unquote

unquote filenames read with -T (default)
-X, –exclude-from=FILE

exclude patterns listed in FILE


 

File name transformations:


–strip-components=NUMBER

strip NUMBER leading components from file
names on extraction
–transform=EXPRESSION, –xform=EXPRESSION

use sed replace EXPRESSION to transform file
names

File name matching options (affect both exclude and include patterns):
–anchored

patterns match file name start
–ignore-case

ignore case
–no-anchored

patterns match after any `/’ (default for
exclusion)
–no-ignore-case

case sensitive matching (default)
–no-wildcards

verbatim string matching
–no-wildcards-match-slash

wildcards do not match `/’
–wildcards

use wildcards (default)
–wildcards-match-slash

wildcards match `/’ (default for exclusion)


 

Informative output:


–checkpoint[=NUMBER]

display progress messages every NUMBERth record
(default 10)
–checkpoint-action=ACTION

execute ACTION on each checkpoint
–index-file=FILE

send verbose output to FILE
-l, –check-links

print a message if not all links are dumped
–no-quote-chars=STRING

disable quoting for characters from STRING
–quote-chars=STRING

additionally quote characters from STRING
–quoting-style=STYLE

set name quoting style; see below for valid STYLE
values
-R, –block-number

show block number within archive with each
message
–show-defaults

show tar defaults
–show-omitted-dirs

when listing or extracting, list each directory
that does not match search criteria
–show-transformed-names, –show-stored-names

show file or archive names after transformation
–totals[=SIGNAL]

print total bytes after processing the archive;
with an argument – print total bytes when this
SIGNAL is delivered; Allowed signals are: SIGHUP,
SIGQUIT, SIGINT, SIGUSR1 and SIGUSR2; the names
without SIG prefix are also accepted
–utc

print file modification dates in UTC
-v, –verbose

verbosely list files processed
–warning=KEYWORD

warning control
-w, –interactive, –confirmation

ask for confirmation for every action


 

Compatibility options:


-o

when creating, same as –old-archive; when
extracting, same as –no-same-owner


 

Other options:


-?, –help

give this help list
–restrict

disable use of some potentially harmful options
–usage

give a short usage message
–version

print program version

Mandatory or optional arguments to long options are also mandatory or optional
for any corresponding short options.

The backup suffix is `~’, unless set with –suffix or SIMPLE_BACKUP_SUFFIX.
The version control may be set with –backup or VERSION_CONTROL, values are:


none, off

never make backups
t, numbered

make numbered backups
nil, existing

numbered if numbered backups exist, simple otherwise
never, simple

always make simple backups

Valid arguments for the –quoting-style option are:



literal
shell
shell-always
c
c-maybe
escape
locale
clocale

 

DEFAULTS

*This* tar defaults to:
–format=gnu -f- -b20 –quoting-style=escape –rmt-command=/sbin/rmt
–rsh-command=/usr/bin/rsh
 

AUTHOR

Written by John Gilmore and Jay Fenlason.
 

REPORTING BUGS

Report bugs to <[email protected]>.
 

COPYRIGHT

Copyright © 2010 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <http://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>.

This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
 

SEE ALSO

The full documentation for
tar

is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the
info

and
tar

programs are properly installed at your site, the command



info tar


should give you access to the complete manual.



 

Index



NAME

SYNOPSIS

DESCRIPTION

EXAMPLES

Common Options:

Operation modifiers:

Overwrite control:

Select output stream:

Device selection and switching:

Device blocking:

Archive format selection:

Compression options:

Local file selection:

File name transformations:

Informative output:

Compatibility options:

Other options:

DEFAULTS

AUTHOR

REPORTING BUGS

COPYRIGHT

SEE ALSO



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