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GNU tar: an archiver tool

This manual is for GNU tar (version 1.32, 4 February 2019), which creates and extracts files from archives.

Copyright © 1992, 1994-1997, 1999-2001, 2003-2017 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document

under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with the Invariant Sections being "GNU General Public License", with the Front-Cover Texts being "A GNU Manual", and with the Back-Cover Texts as in (a) below. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

(a) The FSF's Back-Cover Text is: "You have the freedom to copy and modify this GNU manual."

The first part of this master menu lists the major nodes in this Info document. The rest of the menu lists all the lower level nodes.

1. Introduction

  

2. Tutorial Introduction to tar

  

3. Invoking GNU tar

  

4. GNU tar Operations

  

5. Performing Backups and Restoring Files

  

6. Choosing Files and Names for tar

  

7. Date input formats

  

8. Controlling the Archive Format

  

9. Tapes and Other Archive Media

  

10. Reliability and Security

  

A. Changes

  

B. Recipes

  

Frequently used tar recipes

C. Configuring Help Summary

  

D. Fixing Snapshot Files

  

E. Tar Internals

  

F. Genfile

  

G. Free Software Needs Free Documentation

  

H. GNU Free Documentation License

  

I. Index of Command Line Options

  

J. Index

  

1.1 What this Book Contains

  

1.2 Some Definitions

  

1.3 What tar Does

  

1.4 How tar Archives are Named

  

1.5 GNU tar Authors

  

1.6 Reporting bugs or suggestions

  

2.1 Assumptions this Tutorial Makes

  

2.2 Stylistic Conventions

  

2.3 Basic tar Operations and Options

  

2.4 The Three Most Frequently Used Operations

  

2.5 Two Frequently Used Options

  

2.6 How to Create Archives

  

2.7 How to List Archives

  

2.8 How to Extract Members from an Archive

  

2.9 Going Further Ahead in this Manual

  

The `--file' Option

  

The `--verbose' Option

  

Getting Help: Using the `--help' Option

  

2.6.1 Preparing a Practice Directory for Examples

  

2.6.2 Creating the Archive

  

2.6.3 Running `--create' with `--verbose'

  

2.6.4 Short Forms with `create'

  

2.6.5 Archiving Directories

  

Listing the Contents of a Stored Directory

  

2.8.1 Extracting an Entire Archive

  

2.8.2 Extracting Specific Files

  

2.8.3 Extracting Files that are Directories

  

2.8.4 Extracting Archives from Untrusted Sources

  

2.8.5 Commands That Will Fail

  

3.1 General Synopsis of tar

  

3.2 Using tar Options

  

3.3 The Three Option Styles

  

3.4 All tar Options

  

3.5 GNU tar documentation

  

3.6 Obtaining GNU tar default values

  

3.7 Checking tar progress

  

3.8 Checkpoints

  

3.9 Controlling Warning Messages

  

3.10 Asking for Confirmation During Operations

  

3.3.1 Long Option Style

  

3.3.2 Short Option Style

  

3.3.3 Old Option Style

  

3.3.4 Mixing Option Styles

  

3.4.1 Operations

  

3.4.2 tar Options

  

3.4.3 Short Options Cross Reference

  

3.4.4 Position-Sensitive Options

  

4.1 Basic GNU tar Operations

  

4.2 Advanced GNU tar Operations

  

4.3 Options Used by `--create'

  

4.4 Options Used by `--extract'

  

4.5 Backup options

  

4.6 Looking Ahead: The Rest of this Manual

  

4.2.1 The Five Advanced tar Operations

  

4.2.2 How to Add Files to Existing Archives: `--append'

  

4.2.3 Updating an Archive

  

4.2.4 Combining Archives with `--concatenate'

  

4.2.5 Removing Archive Members Using `--delete'

  

4.2.6 Comparing Archive Members with the File System

  

4.2.2.1 Appending Files to an Archive

  

4.2.2.2 Multiple Members with the Same Name

  

4.2.3.1 How to Update an Archive Using `--update'

  

4.3.1 Overriding File Metadata

  

4.3.2 Extended File Attributes

  

4.3.3 Ignore Failed Read

  

4.4.1 Options to Help Read Archives

  

4.4.2 Changing How tar Writes Files

  

4.4.3 Coping with Scarce Resources

  

Reading Full Records

  

Ignoring Blocks of Zeros

  

Options Controlling the Overwriting of Existing Files

  

Overwrite Old Files

  

Keep Old Files

  

Keep Newer Files

  

Unlink First

  

Recursive Unlink

  

Setting Data Modification Times

  

Setting Access Permissions

  

Directory Modification Times and Permissions

  

Writing to Standard Output

  

Writing to an External Program

  

Removing Files

  

Starting File

  

Same Order

  

5.1 Using tar to Perform Full Dumps

  

5.2 Using tar to Perform Incremental Dumps

  

5.3 Levels of Backups

  

5.4 Setting Parameters for Backups and Restoration

  

5.5 Using the Backup Scripts

  

5.6 Using the Restore Script

  

5.4.1 General-Purpose Variables

  

5.4.2 Magnetic Tape Control

  

5.4.3 User Hooks

  

5.4.4 An Example Text of `Backup-specs'

  

6.1 Choosing and Naming Archive Files

  

Choosing the Archive's Name

6.2 Selecting Archive Members

  

6.3 Reading Names from a File

  

6.4 Excluding Some Files

  

6.5 Wildcards Patterns and Matching

  

6.6 Quoting Member Names

  

Ways of Quoting Special Characters in Names

6.7 Modifying File and Member Names

  

6.8 Operating Only on New Files

  

6.9 Descending into Directories

  

6.10 Crossing File System Boundaries

  

6.3.1 NUL-Terminated File Names

  

Problems with Using the exclude Options

  

Controlling Pattern-Matching

  

6.10.1 Changing the Working Directory

  

Changing Directory

6.10.2 Absolute File Names

  

7.1 General date syntax

  

Common rules.

7.2 Calendar date items

  

19 Dec 1994.

7.3 Time of day items

  

9:20pm.

7.4 Time zone items

  

EST, PDT, GMT.

7.6 Day of week items

  

Monday and others.

7.7 Relative items in date strings

  

next tuesday, 2 years ago.

7.8 Pure numbers in date strings

  

19931219, 1440.

7.9 Seconds since the Epoch

  

@1078100502.

7.10 Specifying time zone rules

  

TZ="America/New_York", TZ="UTC0".

7.11 Authors of parse_datetime

  

Bellovin, Eggert, Salz, Berets, et al.

8.1 Using Less Space through Compression

  

8.2 Handling File Attributes

  

8.3 Making tar Archives More Portable

  

8.4 Comparison of tar and cpio

  

8.1.1 Creating and Reading Compressed Archives

  

8.1.2 Archiving Sparse Files

  

8.1.1.1 Using lbzip2 with GNU tar.

  

8.3.1 Portable Names

  

8.3.2 Symbolic Links

  

8.3.3 Hard Links

  

8.3.4 Old V7 Archives

  

8.3.5 Ustar Archive Format

  

Ustar Archives

8.3.6 GNU and old GNU tar format

  

GNU and old GNU format archives.

8.3.7 GNU tar and POSIX tar

  

POSIX archives

8.3.8 Checksumming Problems

  

8.3.9 Large or Negative Values

  

Large files, negative time stamps, etc.

8.3.10 How to Extract GNU-Specific Data Using Other tar Implementations

  

8.3.7.1 Controlling Extended Header Keywords

  

8.3.10.1 Extracting Members Split Between Volumes

  

Members Split Between Volumes

8.3.10.2 Extracting Sparse Members

  

Sparse Members

9.1 Device Selection and Switching

  

Device selection and switching

9.2 Remote Tape Server

  

9.3 Some Common Problems and their Solutions

  

9.4 Blocking

  

9.5 Many Archives on One Tape

  

Many archives on one tape

9.6 Using Multiple Tapes

  

9.7 Including a Label in the Archive

  

9.8 Verifying Data as It is Stored

  

9.9 Write Protection

  

9.4.1 Format Variations

  

9.4.2 The Blocking Factor of an Archive

  

9.5.1 Tape Positions and Tape Marks

  

9.5.2 The mt Utility

  

9.6.1 Archives Longer than One Tape or Disk

  

9.6.2 Tape Files

  

9.6.3 Concatenate Volumes into a Single Archive

  

Basic Tar Format

  

GNU Extensions to the Archive Format

  

Storing Sparse Files

  

Format of the Incremental Snapshot Files

  

Dumpdir

  

E.0.1 Old GNU Format

  

E.0.2 PAX Format, Versions 0.0 and 0.1

  

E.0.3 PAX Format, Version 1.0

  

F.1 Generate Mode

  

File Generation Mode.

F.2 Status Mode

  

File Status Mode.

F.3 Exec Mode

  

Synchronous Execution mode.

H. GNU Free Documentation License

  

License for copying this manual

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