Run this from the source directory. Move many files
from one area to another saving permissions.
cf = create file
- = stdout
. = of the current directory
| = pipe stdout of this command to stdin of the next command
( ) = do in new shell
cd /dest = change to the destination directory
; = next command
xfp = extract filename preserve permissions
- = stdin
Used for backing up a system or transfering a lot of files
as one file. Many uses do not include using tape nowadays.
Tar does not compress the files. It archives a number of files into
one file. Newer versions tar support compression, with the appropiate
Create a tar file.
$ tar cvf newarchive.tar /mydirectory
This will create a file called newarchive.tar containing copies of all the
files and directories in the directory /mydirectory.
cvf c=create, v=verbose, f=file
You should not create a tar file in the directory that you are archiving.
The GNU version of tar will give you an error but work fine. Other
versions may go into a endless loop.
List the contents of a tar file without extracting the files.
$ tar tvf existing.tar
Extract the contents of a tar file.
$ tar xvf existing.tar
This will extract the contents of the tar file into the current working
If you are extracting in to an existing directory, any files in the archive
with the same name as an existing file will overwrite the existing file.
compress - older - filename.tar.Z
gzip - newer - filename.tar.gz or filename.tar.z
compress can't handle gzip files but gzip can handle compress.
The GNU version of tar supports gzip(un)compression.
Create a compressed tar file.
$ tar cvfz newarchive.tar.gz /mydirectory
Extract the contents of a compressed tar file.
$ tar xvfz existing.tar.gz