You need to use the tar command to create an archive (also known as tar ball) under Linux operating systems. The tar command can create and manipulate archive files. It can even extract files from zip, ar, cpio, shar, ISO 9660 cdrom images, pax and other archives.
What is an archive?
An archive is nothing but you bundle (put) many files together into a single file on a single tape or disk. You can restore individual files from the archive on any Unix-like systems.
Linux tar command syntax
The syntax is as follows to create a tar file:
tar -cvf output.tar /dirname
tar -cvf output.tar /dirname1 /dirname2 filename1 filename2
tar -cvf output.tar /home/vivek/data /home/vivek/pictures /home/vivek/file.txt
tar -cvf /tmp/output.tar /home/vivek/data /home/vivek/pictures /home/vivek/file.txt
- -c : Create a tar ball.
- -v : Verbose output (show progress).
- -f : Output tar ball archive file name.
- -x : Extract all files from archive.tar.
- -t : Display the contents (file list) of an archive.
Linux tar Command Examples
Create a tar ball called /tmp/data.tar for /home/vivek/data directory, enter:
tar -cvf /tmp/data.tar /home/vivek/data
To View a Tar Ball Contains (list file inside a tar ball)
Type the following command:
tar -tvf /tmp/data.tar
To Extract a Tar Ball
Type the following command to extract /tmp/data.tar in a current directory, enter:
tar -xvf /tmp/data.tar
Type the following command to extract resume.pdf file from an archive called data-backup.tar in a current directory, enter:
tar -xvf data-backup.tar resume.pdf
Type the following command to extract pic1.jpg, file1.doc, and foo.mov files from an archive called data-backup.tar in a current directory, enter:
tar -xvf data-backup.tar pic1.jpg file1.doc foo.movf
Type the following command to extract /tmp/data.tar in a directory called /home/sales/data, enter:
tar -xvf /tmp/data.tar -C /home/sales/data
How To Backup Files To a Tape Device /dev/st0?
You need to use the combination of mt and tar command to control magnetic tape drive operation.
## Backup /home/ directories to a tape drive called /dev/st0 tar -czf /dev/st0 /home/
See our previous tutorial “Linux Tape Backup With mt And tar Command Howto” for more information. I also suggest that you read Linux tar(1) command man page for all other syntax and options.
# Additional correction by Khaled Z; Editing by VG – log #