A major option specifies the mode in which pax operates: create, extract, or copy.
Three options determine the mode in which pax operates. You must include zero or one of these options. Without a major option, pax runs in list mode.
(read) Reads the archive from standard input and extracts files. Without a pattern-list on the command line, pax extracts all files from the archive. With a pattern-list, pax extracts only those files whose names match one of the patterns in the pattern-list. The following example extracts from the root.pax archive file on an external drive only those files whose names end in .c:
$ pax -r \*.c < /Volumes/Backups/root.pax
The backslash prevents the shell from expanding the * before it passes ...