gnutar [options] [tarfile] [other-files]

Copies files to or restores files from an archive medium. An enhanced version of tar, gnutar is usually the preferred utility because gnutar can handle much longer pathnames than tar, and gnutar’s default omission of the leading slash in pathnames allows archives to be more easily opened on other systems. Note that until native drivers for tape drives exist for Mac OS X, gnutar can’t write to tape. Note also that gnutar doesn’t preserve resource forks or HFS metadata when copying files that contain them.

gnutar is installed on Mac OS X as part of Apple’s Xcode Tools.

Function options

You must use exactly one of these, and it must come before any other options:

-A, --catenate, --concatenate

Concatenate a second tar file on to the end of the first.

-c, --create

Create a new archive.

-d, --diff, --compare

Compare the files stored in tarfile with other-files. Report any differences, such as missing files, different sizes, different file attributes (such as permissions or modification time).


Delete other-files from the archive.

-r, --append

Append other-files to the end of an existing archive.

-t, --list

Print the names of other-files if they are stored on the archive (if other-files aren’t specified, print names of all files).

-u, --update

Add files if not in the archive or if modified.

-x, --extract, --get

Extract other-files from an archive (if other-files aren’t specified, extract all files).


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