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A Practical Guide to Linux® Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming, Third Edition by Mark G. Sobell

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tar: Packs and Unpacks Archives

The tar utility performs many functions. Its name is short for tape archive, as its original function was to create and read archive and backup tapes. Today it is used to create a single file (called a tar file, archive, or tarball) from multiple files or directory hierarchies and to extract files from a tar file. The cpio (page 758) and pax (page 907) utilities perform a similar function.

In the following example, the first ls shows the sizes of the files g, b, and d. Next tar uses the –c (create), –v (verbose), and –f (write to or read from a file) options to create an archive named all.tar from these files. Each line of output displays the name of the file tar is appending to the archive it is creating.

The ...

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