The tar program is used to archive and unarchive files. It does not support compression directly, but the -j (bzip2) and -z (gzip) options will typically compress the archive file it creates. It is used to accumulate a large collection of files into a single archive file (packer), while preserving filesystem information such as user and group permissions, dates, and directory structures.

Example, to pack the /home/usuary directory, excluding /home/usuary/desktop in the file usuary.tar, type in a terminal:

tar cvf usuary.tar --exclude=/home/usuary/desktop /home/usuary

Using the tape archiver for backups

Laser Servo Diskettes


Tape Cartridges

Excluding a directory from a tar backup

To tell the tar tape archiver to skip backup of a directory, the --exclude switch may be used. Suppose that we are backing up the foobar directory, and we want to exclude the directories foo and bar from our backup:

Wildcards are not allowed in the exclude parameters

Skip backup of files that you do not have permission to read

The tape archiver provides an ignore-failed-read switch that is used to tell the tape archiver to skip backup of files that it does not have permission to read.

More information: