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

     tar — manipulate tape archives

     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]

     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 COMPATI‐
     BILITY 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 uncompressed 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 modifica‐
	     tion date newer than the corresponding entry in the archive.
	     Note that this only works on uncompressed archives stored in reg‐
	     ular 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

     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 con‐
     tents 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).

     Unless specifically stated otherwise, options are applicable in all oper‐
     ating modes.

	     (c and r mode only) The specified archive is opened and the
	     entries in it will be appended to the current archive.  As a sim‐
	     ple 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 an archive from standard input (whose format will be deter‐
	     mined automatically) and converts it into a gzip-compressed pax-
	     format archive on stdout.	In this way, tar can be used to con‐
	     vert 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.

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

	     (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 pat‐
	     tern.  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 ar‐
	     chive.  Supported formats include “cpio”, “pax”, “shar”, and
	     “ustar”.  Other formats may also be supported; see
	     libarchive-formats(5) for more information about currently-sup‐
	     ported formats.  In r and u modes, when extending an existing ar‐
	     chive, the format specified here must be compatible with the for‐
	     mat 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.  If
	     not specified, the default tape device will be used.  (On
	     FreeBSD, the default tape device is /dev/sa0.)

     -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 pat‐
	     tern.  Note that exclusions specified with --exclude take prece‐
	     dence over inclusions.  If no inclusions are explicitly speci‐
	     fied, all entries are processed by default.  The --include option
	     is especially useful when filtering archives.  For example, the
		   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.

	     (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.  Nor‐
	     mally, 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

     --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.

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

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

	     (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

	     (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:
		     The key will be set to the specified value in every mod‐
		     ule 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
	     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:
		     Support Joliet extensions.	 This is enabled by default,
		     use !joliet or iso9660:!joliet to disable.
		     A decimal integer from 0 to 9 specifying the gzip com‐
		     pression level.
		     A decimal integer from 0 to 9 specifying the xz compres‐
		     sion level.
		     The mtree writer module allows you to specify which mtree
		     keywords will be included in the output.  Supported key‐
		     words include: cksum, device, flags, gid, gname, indent,
		     link, md5, mode, nlink, rmd160, sha1, sha256, sha384,
		     sha512, size, time, uid, uname.  The default is equiva‐
		     lent to: “device, flags, gid, gname, link, mode, nlink,
		     size, time, type, uid, uname”.
		     Enables all of the above keywords.	 You can also use
		     mtree:!all to disable all keywords.
		     Enable generation of /set lines in the output.
		     XXX need explanation XXX
	     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 provided as a
	     performance optimization.

     -S	     (x mode only) Extract files as sparse files.  For every block on
	     disk, check first if it contains 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 ele‐
	     ments.  Pathnames with fewer elements will be silently skipped.
	     Note that the pathname is edited after checking inclusion/exclu‐
	     sion patterns but before security checks.

     -s pattern
	     Modify file or archive member names according to pattern.	The
	     pattern has the format /old/new/[gps].  old is a basic regular
	     expression.  If it doesn't apply, the pattern is skipped.	new is
	     the replacement string of the matched part.  ~ is substituted
	     with the match, 1 to 9 with the content of the corresponding cap‐
	     tured 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 speci‐
	     fied 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 broken,
	     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.

	     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.

     The following environment variables affect the execution of tar:

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

     TAPE	The default tape device.  The -f option overrides this.

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

     /dev/sa0	The default tape device, if not overridden by the TAPE envi‐
		ronment variable or the -f option.

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

     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 extract all entries from the archive on the default tape drive:
	   tar -x

     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

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

	   $ cat input.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, including “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).

     The bundled-arguments format is supported for compatibility with historic
     implementations.  It consists of an initial word (with no leading - char‐
     acter) in which each character indicates an option.  Arguments 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 argu‐
     ments, 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 argument to the f

     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.

     Certain security issues are common to many archiving programs, including
     tar.  In particular, carefully-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 overwrite.  If the archive is being extracted by the supe‐
     ruser, 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
     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 preserv‐
     ing any absolute pathnames, .. components, or symlinks to other directo‐

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

     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 implementation 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.

     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
     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.

     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 out‐
     put 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, 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 specified.

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

     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 archive
     formats store hardlink information.)

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

BSD				March 25, 2009				   BSD

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