Unix / Linux: Tar Command Remove a Directory From a Tar Ball

by on January 20, 2010 · 0 comments· LAST UPDATED September 20, 2011

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How do I remove a directory from a tar ball under Unix / Linux operating systems?

The syntax to remove a directory from a tar ball is as follows:

 
tar --delete -f file.tar 'path1/dir1'
 

OR

 
tar --delete -f file.tar 'dir1'
 

To delete a directory called etc/security from a foo.tar, enter:
$ tar --delete -f foo.tar 'etc/security'
Verify that directory has been deleted from the foo.tar ball, enter:
$ tar -tvf foo.tar | less
OR
$ tar -tvf foo.tar | grep 'etc/security'

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