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BSDTAR(1)                 BSD General Commands Manual                BSDTAR(1)

NAME
     tar -- manipulate tape archives

SYNOPSIS
     tar [bundled-flags <args>] [<file> | <pattern> ...]
     tar {-c} [options] [files | directories]
     tar {-r | -u} -f archive-file [options] [files | directories]
     tar {-t | -x} [options] [patterns]

DESCRIPTION
     tar creates and manipulates streaming archive files.  This implementation can extract from tar, pax,
     cpio, zip, jar, ar, and ISO 9660 cdrom images and can create tar, pax, cpio, ar, and shar archives.

     The first synopsis form shows a ``bundled'' option word.  This usage is provided for compatibility with
     historical implementations.  See COMPATIBILITY below for details.

     The other synopsis forms show the preferred usage.  The first option to tar is a mode indicator from
     the following list:
     -c      Create a new archive containing the specified items.
     -r      Like -c, but new entries are appended to the archive.  Note that this only works on uncom-pressed uncompressed
             pressed archives stored in regular files.  The -f option is required.
     -t      List archive contents to stdout.
     -u      Like -r, but new entries are added only if they have a modification date newer than the corre-sponding corresponding
             sponding entry in the archive.  Note that this only works on uncompressed archives stored in
             regular files.  The -f option is required.
     -x      Extract to disk from the archive.  If a file with the same name appears more than once in the
             archive, each copy will be extracted, with later copies overwriting (replacing) earlier copies.

     In -c, -r, or -u mode, each specified file or directory is added to the archive in the order specified
     on the command line.  By default, the contents of each directory are also archived.

     In extract or list mode, the entire command line is read and parsed before the archive is opened.  The
     pathnames or patterns on the command line indicate which items in the archive should be processed.
     Patterns are shell-style globbing patterns as documented in tcsh(1).

OPTIONS
     Unless specifically stated otherwise, options are applicable in all operating modes.

     @archive
             (c and r mode only) The specified archive is opened and the entries in it will be appended to
             the current archive.  As a simple example,
                   tar -c -f - newfile @original.tar
             writes a new archive to standard output containing a file newfile and all of the entries from
             original.tar.  In contrast,
                   tar -c -f - newfile original.tar
             creates a new archive with only two entries.  Similarly,
                   tar -czf - --format pax @-reads @reads
             reads an archive from standard input (whose format will be determined automatically) and con-verts converts
             verts it into a gzip-compressed pax-format archive on stdout.  In this way, tar can be used to
             convert archives from one format to another.

     -b blocksize
             Specify the block size, in 512-byte records, for tape drive I/O.  As a rule, this argument is
             only needed when reading from or writing to tape drives, and usually not even then as the
             default block size of 20 records (10240 bytes) is very common.

     -C directory
             In c and r mode, this changes the directory before adding the following files.  In x mode,
             change directories after opening the archive but before extracting entries from the archive.

     --check-links
             (c and r modes only) Issue a warning message unless all links to each file are archived.

     --chroot
             (x mode only) chroot() to the current directory after processing any -C options and before
             extracting any files.

     --exclude pattern
             Do not process files or directories that match the specified pattern.  Note that exclusions
             take precedence over patterns or filenames specified on the command line.

     --format format
             (c, r, u mode only) Use the specified format for the created archive.  Supported formats
             include ``cpio'', ``pax'', ``shar'', and ``ustar''.  Other formats may also be supported; see
             libarchive-formats(5) for more information about currently-supported formats.  In r and u
             modes, when extending an existing archive, the format specified here must be compatible with
             the format of the existing archive on disk.

     -f file
             Read the archive from or write the archive to the specified file.  The filename can be - for
             standard input or standard output.

     -H      (c and r mode only) Symbolic links named on the command line will be followed; the target of
             the link will be archived, not the link itself.

     -h      (c and r mode only) Synonym for -L.

     -I      Synonym for -T.

     --include pattern
             Process only files or directories that match the specified pattern.  Note that exclusions spec-ified specified
             ified with --exclude take precedence over inclusions.  If no inclusions are explicitly speci-fied, specified,
             fied, all entries are processed by default.  The --include option is especially useful when
             filtering archives.  For example, the command
                   tar -c -f new.tar --include='*foo*' @old.tgz
             creates a new archive new.tar containing only the entries from old.tgz containing the string
             `foo'.

     -j      (c mode only) Compress the resulting archive with bzip2(1).  In extract or list modes, this
             option is ignored.  Note that, unlike other tar implementations, this implementation recognizes
             bzip2 compression automatically when reading archives.

     -k      (x mode only) Do not overwrite existing files.  In particular, if a file appears more than once
             in an archive, later copies will not overwrite earlier copies.

     --keep-newer-files
             (x mode only) Do not overwrite existing files that are newer than the versions appearing in the
             archive being extracted.

     -L      (c and r mode only) All symbolic links will be followed.  Normally, symbolic links are archived
             as such.  With this option, the target of the link will be archived instead.

     -l      This is a synonym for the --check-links option.

     -m      (x mode only) Do not extract modification time.  By default, the modification time is set to
             the time stored in the archive.

     -n      (c, r, u modes only) Do not recursively archive the contents of directories.

     --newer date
             (c, r, u modes only) Only include files and directories newer than the specified date.  This
             compares ctime entries.

     --newer-mtime date
             (c, r, u modes only) Like --newer, except it compares mtime entries instead of ctime entries.

     --newer-than file
             (c, r, u modes only) Only include files and directories newer than the specified file.  This
             compares ctime entries.

     --newer-mtime-than file
             (c, r, u modes only) Like --newer-than, except it compares mtime entries instead of ctime
             entries.

     --nodump
             (c and r modes only) Honor the nodump file flag by skipping this file.

     --null  (use with -I, -T, or -X) Filenames or patterns are separated by null characters, not by new-lines. newlines.
             lines.  This is often used to read filenames output by the -print0 option to find(1).

     --numeric-owner
             (x mode only) Ignore symbolic user and group names when restoring archives to disk, only
             numeric uid and gid values will be obeyed.

     -O      (x, t modes only) In extract (-x) mode, files will be written to standard out rather than being
             extracted to disk.  In list (-t) mode, the file listing will be written to stderr rather than
             the usual stdout.

     -o      (x mode) Use the user and group of the user running the program rather than those specified in
             the archive.  Note that this has no significance unless -p is specified, and the program is
             being run by the root user.  In this case, the file modes and flags from the archive will be
             restored, but ACLs or owner information in the archive will be discarded.

     -o      (c, r, u mode) A synonym for --format ustar

     --one-file-system
             (c, r, and u modes) Do not cross mount points.

     --options options
             Select optional behaviors for particular modules.  The argument is a text string containing
             comma-separated keywords and values.  These are passed to the modules that handle particular
             formats to control how those formats will behave.  Each option has one of the following forms:
             key=value
                     The key will be set to the specified value in every module that supports it.  Modules
                     that do not support this key will ignore it.
             key     The key will be enabled in every module that supports it.  This is equivalent to key=1.
             !key    The key will be disabled in every module that supports it.
             module:key=value, module:key, module:!key
                     As above, but the corresponding key and value will be provided only to modules whose
                     name matches module.
             The currently supported modules and keys are:
             iso9660:joliet
                     Support Joliet extensions.  This is enabled by default, use !joliet or iso9660:!joliet
                     to disable.
             iso9660:rockridge
                     Support Rock Ridge extensions.  This is enabled by default, use !rockridge or
                     iso9660:!rockridge to disable.
             gzip:compression-level
                     A decimal integer from 0 to 9 specifying the gzip compression level.
             xz:compression-level
                     A decimal integer from 0 to 9 specifying the xz compression level.
             mtree:keyword
                     The mtree writer module allows you to specify which mtree keywords will be included in
                     the output.  Supported keywords include: cksum, device, flags, gid, gname, indent,
                     link, md5, mode, nlink, rmd160, sha1, sha256, sha384, sha512, size, time, uid, uname.
                     The default is equivalent to: ``device, flags, gid, gname, link, mode, nlink, size,
                     time, type, uid, uname''.
             mtree:all
                     Enables all of the above keywords.  You can also use mtree:!all to disable all key-words. keywords.
                     words.
             mtree:use-set
                     Enable generation of /set lines in the output.
             mtree:indent
                     Produce human-readable output by indenting options and splitting lines to fit into 80
                     columns.
             zip:compression=type
                     Use type as compression method.  Supported values are store (uncompressed) and deflate
                     (gzip algorithm).
             If a provided option is not supported by any module, that is a fatal error.

     -P      Preserve pathnames.  By default, absolute pathnames (those that begin with a / character) have
             the leading slash removed both when creating archives and extracting from them.  Also, tar will
             refuse to extract archive entries whose pathnames contain .. or whose target directory would be
             altered by a symlink.  This option suppresses these behaviors.

     -p      (x mode only) Preserve file permissions.  Attempt to restore the full permissions, including
             owner, file modes, file flags and ACLs, if available, for each item extracted from the archive.
             By default, newly-created files are owned by the user running tar, the file mode is restored
             for newly-created regular files, and all other types of entries receive default permissions.
             If tar is being run by root, the default is to restore the owner unless the -o option is also
             specified.

     -q (--fast-read)
             (x and t mode only) Extract or list only the first archive entry that matches each pattern or
             filename operand.  Exit as soon as each specified pattern or filename has been matched.  By
             default, the archive is always read to the very end, since there can be multiple entries with
             the same name and, by convention, later entries overwrite earlier entries.  This option is pro-vided provided
             vided as a performance optimization.

     -S      (x mode only) Extract files as sparse files.  For every block on disk, check first if it con-tains contains
             tains only NULL bytes and seek over it otherwise.  This works similiar to the conv=sparse
             option of dd.

     --strip-components count
             (x mode only) Remove the specified number of leading path elements.  Pathnames with fewer ele-ments elements
             ments will be silently skipped.  Note that the pathname is edited after checking inclu-sion/exclusion inclusion/exclusion
             sion/exclusion patterns but before security checks.

     -s pattern
             Modify file or archive member names according to pattern.  The pattern has the format
             /old/new/[gps] where old is a basic regular expression, new is the replacement string of the
             matched part, and the optional trailing letters modify how the replacement is handled.  If old
             is not matched, the pattern is skipped.  Within new, ~ is substituted with the match, 1 to 9
             with the content of the corresponding captured group.  The optional trailing g specifies that
             matching should continue after the matched part and stopped on the first unmatched pattern.
             The optional trailing s specifies that the pattern applies to the value of symbolic links.  The
             optional trailing p specifies that after a successful substitution the original path name and
             the new path name should be printed to standard error.

     -T filename
             In x or t mode, tar will read the list of names to be extracted from filename.  In c mode, tar
             will read names to be archived from filename.  The special name ``-C'' on a line by itself will
             cause the current directory to be changed to the directory specified on the following line.
             Names are terminated by newlines unless --null is specified.  Note that --null also disables
             the special handling of lines containing ``-C''.

     -U      (x mode only) Unlink files before creating them.  Without this option, tar overwrites existing
             files, which preserves existing hardlinks.  With this option, existing hardlinks will be bro-ken, broken,
             ken, as will any symlink that would affect the location of an extracted file.

     --use-compress-program program
             Pipe the input (in x or t mode) or the output (in c mode) through program instead of using the
             builtin compression support.

     -v      Produce verbose output.  In create and extract modes, tar will list each file name as it is
             read from or written to the archive.  In list mode, tar will produce output similar to that of
             ls(1).  Additional -v options will provide additional detail.

     --version
             Print version of tar and libarchive, and exit.

     -w      Ask for confirmation for every action.

     -X filename
             Read a list of exclusion patterns from the specified file.  See --exclude for more information
             about the handling of exclusions.

     -y      (c mode only) Compress the resulting archive with bzip2(1).  In extract or list modes, this
             option is ignored.  Note that, unlike other tar implementations, this implementation recognizes
             bzip2 compression automatically when reading archives.

     -z      (c mode only) Compress the resulting archive with gzip(1).  In extract or list modes, this
             option is ignored.  Note that, unlike other tar implementations, this implementation recognizes
             gzip compression automatically when reading archives.

     -Z      (c mode only) Compress the resulting archive with compress(1).  In extract or list modes, this
             option is ignored.  Note that, unlike other tar implementations, this implementation recognizes
             compress compression automatically when reading archives.

ENVIRONMENT
     The following environment variables affect the execution of tar:

     LANG       The locale to use.  See environ(7) for more information.

     TZ         The timezone to use when displaying dates.  See environ(7) for more information.

EXIT STATUS
     The tar utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.

EXAMPLES
     The following creates a new archive called file.tar.gz that contains two files source.c and source.h:
           tar -czf file.tar.gz source.c source.h

     To view a detailed table of contents for this archive:
           tar -tvf file.tar.gz

     To examine the contents of an ISO 9660 cdrom image:
           tar -tf image.iso

     To move file hierarchies, invoke tar as
           tar -cf - -C srcdir . | tar -xpf - -C destdir
     or more traditionally
           cd srcdir ; tar -cf - . | (cd destdir ; tar -xpf -)

     In create mode, the list of files and directories to be archived can also include directory change
     instructions of the form -Cfoo/baz and archive inclusions of the form @archive-file.  For example, the
     command line
           tar -c -f new.tar foo1 @old.tgz -C/tmp foo2
     will create a new archive new.tar.  tar will read the file foo1 from the current directory and add it
     to the output archive.  It will then read each entry from old.tgz and add those entries to the output
     archive.  Finally, it will switch to the /tmp directory and add foo2 to the output archive.

     An input file in mtree(5) format can be used to create an output archive with arbitrary ownership, per-missions, permissions,
     missions, or names that differ from existing data on disk:

           $ cat input.mtree
           #mtree
           usr/bin uid=0 gid=0 mode=0755 type=dir
           usr/bin/ls uid=0 gid=0 mode=0755 type=file content=myls
           $ tar -cvf output.tar @input.mtree

     The --newer and --newer-mtime switches accept a variety of common date and time specifications, includ-ing including
     ing ``12 Mar 2005 7:14:29pm'', ``2005-03-12 19:14'', ``5 minutes ago'', and ``19:14 PST May 1''.

     The --options argument can be used to control various details of archive generation or reading.  For
     example, you can generate mtree output which only contains type, time, and uid keywords:
           tar -cf file.tar --format=mtree --options='!all,type,time,uid' dir
     or you can set the compression level used by gzip or xz compression:
           tar -czf file.tar --options='compression-level=9'.
     For more details, see the explanation of the archive_read_set_options() and archive_write_set_options()
     API calls that are described in archive_read(3) and archive_write(3).

COMPATIBILITY
     The bundled-arguments format is supported for compatibility with historic implementations.  It consists
     of an initial word (with no leading - character) in which each character indicates an option.  Argu-ments Arguments
     ments follow as separate words.  The order of the arguments must match the order of the corresponding
     characters in the bundled command word.  For example,
           tar tbf 32 file.tar
     specifies three flags t, b, and f.  The b and f flags both require arguments, so there must be two
     additional items on the command line.  The 32 is the argument to the b flag, and file.tar is the argu-ment argument
     ment to the f flag.

     The mode options c, r, t, u, and x and the options b, f, l, m, o, v, and w comply with SUSv2.

     For maximum portability, scripts that invoke tar should use the bundled-argument format above, should
     limit themselves to the c, t, and x modes, and the b, f, m, v, and w options.

     Additional long options are provided to improve compatibility with other tar implementations.

SECURITY
     Certain security issues are common to many archiving programs, including tar.  In particular, care-fully-crafted carefully-crafted
     fully-crafted archives can request that tar extract files to locations outside of the target directory.
     This can potentially be used to cause unwitting users to overwrite files they did not intend to over-write. overwrite.
     write.  If the archive is being extracted by the superuser, any file on the system can potentially be
     overwritten.  There are three ways this can happen.  Although tar has mechanisms to protect against
     each one, savvy users should be aware of the implications:

     •       Archive entries can have absolute pathnames.  By default, tar removes the leading / character
             from filenames before restoring them to guard against this problem.

     •       Archive entries can have pathnames that include .. components.  By default, tar will not
             extract files containing .. components in their pathname.

     •       Archive entries can exploit symbolic links to restore files to other directories.  An archive
             can restore a symbolic link to another directory, then use that link to restore a file into
             that directory.  To guard against this, tar checks each extracted path for symlinks.  If the
             final path element is a symlink, it will be removed and replaced with the archive entry.  If -U
             is specified, any intermediate symlink will also be unconditionally removed.  If neither -U nor
             -P is specified, tar will refuse to extract the entry.
     To protect yourself, you should be wary of any archives that come from untrusted sources.  You should
     examine the contents of an archive with
           tar -tf filename
     before extraction.  You should use the -k option to ensure that tar will not overwrite any existing
     files or the -U option to remove any pre-existing files.  You should generally not extract archives
     while running with super-user privileges.  Note that the -P option to tar disables the security checks
     above and allows you to extract an archive while preserving any absolute pathnames, .. components, or
     symlinks to other directories.

SEE ALSO
     bzip2(1), compress(1), cpio(1), gzip(1), mt(1), pax(1), shar(1), libarchive(3), libarchive-formats(5),
     tar(5)

STANDARDS
     There is no current POSIX standard for the tar command; it appeared in ISO/IEC 9945-1:1996
     (``POSIX.1'') but was dropped from IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 (``POSIX.1'').  The options used by this imple-mentation implementation
     mentation were developed by surveying a number of existing tar implementations as well as the old POSIX
     specification for tar and the current POSIX specification for pax.

     The ustar and pax interchange file formats are defined by IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 (``POSIX.1'') for the
     pax command.

HISTORY
     A tar command appeared in Seventh Edition Unix, which was released in January, 1979.  There have been
     numerous other implementations, many of which extended the file format.  John Gilmore's pdtar public-domain publicdomain
     domain implementation (circa November, 1987) was quite influential, and formed the basis of GNU tar.
     GNU tar was included as the standard system tar in FreeBSD beginning with FreeBSD 1.0.

     This is a complete re-implementation based on the libarchive(3) library.

BUGS
     This program follows ISO/IEC 9945-1:1996 (``POSIX.1'') for the definition of the -l option.  Note that
     GNU tar prior to version 1.15 treated -l as a synonym for the --one-file-system option.

     The -C dir option may differ from historic implementations.

     All archive output is written in correctly-sized blocks, even if the output is being compressed.
     Whether or not the last output block is padded to a full block size varies depending on the format and
     the output device.  For tar and cpio formats, the last block of output is padded to a full block size
     if the output is being written to standard output or to a character or block device such as a tape
     drive.  If the output is being written to a regular file, the last block will not be padded.  Many com-pressors, compressors,
     pressors, including gzip(1) and bzip2(1), complain about the null padding when decompressing an archive
     created by tar, although they still extract it correctly.

     The compression and decompression is implemented internally, so there may be insignificant differences
     between the compressed output generated by
           tar -czf - file
     and that generated by
           tar -cf - file | gzip

     The default should be to read and write archives to the standard I/O paths, but tradition (and POSIX)
     dictates otherwise.

     The r and u modes require that the archive be uncompressed and located in a regular file on disk.
     Other archives can be modified using c mode with the @archive-file extension.

     To archive a file called @foo or -foo you must specify it as ./@foo or ./-foo, respectively.

     In create mode, a leading ./ is always removed.  A leading / is stripped unless the -P option is speci-fied. specified.
     fied.

     There needs to be better support for file selection on both create and extract.

     There is not yet any support for multi-volume archives or for archiving sparse files.

     Converting between dissimilar archive formats (such as tar and cpio) using the @- convention can cause
     hard link information to be lost.  (This is a consequence of the incompatible ways that different ar-chive archive
     chive formats store hardlink information.)

     There are alternative long options for many of the short options that are deliberately not documented.

BSD                              Oct 12, 2009                              BSD

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