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Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Edition by Michael W. Lucas

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tar

The tar (short for tape archiver) utility can back up anything from a single file to your whole computer. Unlike dump, tar works on the files and directories only and has no knowledge of the underlying filesystem, which has its advantages and disadvantages. tar is a common standard recognized by almost every operating system vendor; you can find tar for Windows, Linux, Unix, BSD, Mac OS X, AS/400, VMS, Atari, Commodore 64, QNX, and just about everything else you might encounter.

tar(1) can back up files to tape or to a file. A backup file containing tarred files is known as a tarball. Since tar works on files, it's very easy to restore just one file from a tarball.

FreeBSD uses a version of tar written from scratch to replace the older GNU tar, ...

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