GNU cpio copies files into or out of a cpio or tar archive. The archive can be another file on the disk, a magnetic tape, or a pipe.

GNU cpio supports the following archive formats: binary, old ASCII, new ASCII, crc, HPUX binary, HPUX old ASCII, old tar, and POSIX.1 tar. The tar format is provided for compatability with the tar program. By default, cpio creates binary format archives, for compatibility with older cpio programs. When extracting from archives, cpio automatically recognizes which kind of archive it is reading and can read archives created on machines with a different byte-order.


The project's homepage at Savannah is the place to look for the latest news and patches for the project.


GNU cpio is fully documented. Complete documentation in Texinfo format is included in the distribution. An online manual is available in various formats.

Mailing lists

If you wish to send a bug report, a feature request, or simply to share your thoughts about GNU cpio, please write to <>. Notice, that this is a moderated list, i.e. postings from non-subscribers are held until one of moderators has time to approve them. To subscribe to the list, visit