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tar -cf archive.tar foo bar                                   #Create „archive.tar“ with the files „foo“ and „bar“
tar -czf archive.tar.gz foo bar                               #Create „archive.tar.gz“ with the files „foo“ and „bar“ with higher compression (gzip) 
tar -tvf archive.tar                                          #Detailed listing of archive „archive.tar“ (verbose)
tar -xf archive.tar                                           #Extracting all data of archive “archive.tar”
tar -xzf archive.tar path/to/folder                           #Extracting just "path/to/folder" (particular folder) from archive “archive.tar”
tar --extract --file={tarball.tar} {file}                     #Extract a directory called file from tarball.tar
tar --extract --file=cbz.tar css                              #Extract a directory called css from cbz.tar
tar -xf cbz.tar --wildcards --no-anchored '*.php'             #To extract all php files
tar -cvf /dev/st0 /home                                       #Backup of /home to taperecoreder st0
tar -cvf /backup/home/tmade.tar /home/tmade                   #backup of /home/tmade to /backup/home/tmade.tar
tar -cvzf /backup/home/tmade.tar.gz /home/tmade               #compressed backup of /home/tmade to /backup/home/tmade.tar.gz
(cd /orignl/path tar -cf  - . ) | (cd /dst/dir;tar -xvf - )   #tar pipe to copy files, alternate to "cp -Ra" 
tar -czvf /mnt/test.tgz --one-file-system /                   #stay on filesystem = /dev/, /proc , /sys and all other mountpoints (if there are) aren´t in the file
tar -xzf bar.tar.gz -C /foo                                   #Untar "bar.tar.gz" to "/foo/*" directory
  -c creates the archive
  -v verbose
  -f the name of the archive to be created after the option f

View contents of archive:

tar -tvf /path/to/*.tar

Exclude files from backup: create a file called exclude.files and save line by line into it like:

/home/tmade/.bashrc                                  #exclude .bashrc
/home/tmade/test*                                    #exclude all files starting with test

than save the backup:

tar -czv -X /home/tmade/excluded.files -f /backup/home/excluded/backup_exclude.tar.gz /home/tmade


tar -xvf /path/to/device                             #writes all files to current directory
tar -xvf /dev/st0                                    #writes all files to current directory

Extract just one file

tar -xvf /path/to/*.tar -C /home/targetdirectory/filename    

Incremental Backup

Only new created files and folders will be backuped.

First step: Make full backup

tar -cz -g /mnt/newroot/snapshot_file -f /mnt/newroot/full_backup.tar.gz /home

Second step: Make incremental backup

tar -cz -g /mnt/newroot/snapshot_file -f /mnt/newroot/backup_monday.tar.gz /home

Differential Backup

Only files and folders with a newer timestamp will be backuped. Newly created empty folders won´t be backuped!

First step: Make full backup

tar –czvf /mnt/newroot/full_backup.tar.gz /home

Second step: Make differential backup

find /home –type f –newer /mnt/newroot/full_backup.tar.gz –print0 | tar ––null –czvf /mnt/newroot/backup_monday.tar.gz –T –


-print0 and --null ensure files with a spaces in their names are also archived
-T determines that files piped to stdin are included in the archive



gzip file.txt

In the above example command this would compress the file.txt file as file.txt.gz in the current directory.


gunzip  file.txt.gz

In the above example command it would extract the file.txt from file.txt.gz.

linux/tar.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 09:16 by tmade
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