Projects / GNU tar

GNU tar

GNU `tar' saves many files together into a single tape or disk archive, and can restore individual files from the archive. It includes multivolume support, the ability to archive sparse files, automatic archive compression/decompression, remote archives and special features that allow `tar' to be used for incremental and full backups. It also includes `rmt', the remote tape server (the `mt' tape drive control program is in GNU `cpio').

Operating Systems

RSS Recent releases

Release Notes: This release adds support for xz compression (with the --xz option) and reassigns the short option -J as a shortcut for --xz. The option -I is now a shortcut for --use-compress-program, and the --no-recursive option works with --incremental.

Release Notes: This release adds new options: --lzop, --no-auto-compress, and --no-null. It has compressed format recognition and VCS support (--exclude-vcs). It fixes the --null option and fixes record size autodetection.

Release Notes: This release has new options: -a (selects a compression algorithm basing on the suffix of the archive file name), --lzma (selects the LZMA compression algorithm), and --hard-dereference, which dereferences hard links during archive creation and stores the files they refer to (instead of creating the usual hard link members).

  •  30 Jun 2007 03:17

Release Notes: The license was upgraded to version 3 of the GNU General Public License. Several bugs in the test suite were fixed.

Release Notes: This release fixes archival of sparse files in POSIX mode, operation of --verify --listed-incremental, and --occurrence. The end-of-volume script can send the new volume name to tar by writing it to the file descriptor stored in the environment variable 'TAR_FD'.

RSS Recent comments

21 Aug 2009 18:44 donguri

tar's recognition of compression formats works for bzip2, gzip, but not for xz:


cat slocate-3.1.txz | tar tvf -
tar: This does not look like a tar archive
tar: Skipping to next header
tar: Exiting with failure status due to previous errors

cat slocate-3.1.tgz | tar tvf -
drwxr-xr-x root/root 0 2006-04-19 06:56 ./
drwxr-xr-x root/root 0 2009-07-18 02:06 usr/
drwxr-xr-x root/root 0 2009-07-18 02:06 usr/doc/
drwxr-xr-x root/root 0 2009-07-18 02:06 usr/doc/slocate-3.1/
-rw-r----- root/root 17998 2005-12-20 07:30 usr/doc/slocate-3.1/LICENSE
-rw-r----- root/root 6593 2006-03-08 05:40 usr/doc/slocate-3.1/README
-rw-r----- root/root 63 2006-01-12 23:00 usr/doc/slocate-3.1/WISHLIST
-rw-r----- root/root 7018 2006-03-08 05:40 usr/doc/slocate-3.1/Changelog
drwxr-xr-x root/root 0 2002-04-07 12:27 usr/man/
drwxr-xr-x root/root 0 2009-07-18 02:06 usr/man/man1/
-rw-r--r-- root/root 787 2009-07-18 02:06 usr/man/man1/updatedb.1.gz
-rw-r--r-- root/root 1303 2009-07-18 02:06 usr/man/man1/slocate.1.gz
drwxr-xr-x root/root 0 2002-04-07 11:32 usr/bin/
-rwxr-sr-x root/slocate 31728 2009-07-18 02:06 usr/bin/slocate
drwxr-xr-x root/root 0 2004-05-30 05:47 etc/
drwxr-xr-x root/root 0 2002-04-16 05:09 etc/cron.daily/
-rwxr-xr-x root/root 72 2009-07-18 02:05 etc/cron.daily/slocate
-rw-r--r-- root/root 228 2009-06-30 21:16 etc/
drwxr-xr-x root/root 0 2001-12-03 01:45 var/
drwxr-xr-x root/root 0 2001-12-03 01:45 var/lib/
drwxr-x--- root/slocate 0 2000-08-24 03:03 var/lib/slocate/

Same problem even if you allow tar to get a clue by giving it the filename with a suffix .xz

GNU tar 1.22

23 Jul 2003 17:51 Aredhead

Re: Bzip2 option removed

> If this is true how come it is not
> mentioned anywhere in the manual on the
> GNU page? The only way I can see to get
> this support in is by applying a patch
> to the code.

~> tar --version | head -n1
tar (GNU tar) 1.13.25

~> tar --help | grep "\-j"
-j, --bzip2 filter the archive through bzip2

Seems to me like it's there.... No need for any patch of any kind.

23 Jul 2003 11:50 schily Thumbs down

Re: 1.13.25 stable?

1.13.25 still has known bugs that should be
fixed before somebody will make a 1.14.

In order to create a 1.14 you would need a
maintainer who works on GNU tar and who is accepted by RMS.

If you are looking for a mature tar implementation
that is actively maintained you should have a look
at star.

08 Feb 2003 08:20 davidsb

1.13.25 stable?
Freshmeat shows the date 15-Dec-2002 for 1.13.25, but the last Changelog entry is 26-Sep-2001. Almost 1.5 years with no changes! Can 1.13.25 be considered "stable" and released as 1.14?

11 Sep 2002 00:53 cmcginty

Re: Bzip2 option removed
If this is true how come it is not mentioned anywhere in the manual on the GNU page? The only way I can see to get this support in is by applying a patch to the code.

> This reply is way overdue, but ignore my
> original comment. bzip2 support was
> indeed taken out briefly but was put
> back shortly afterwards and has been a
> stardard part of tar even since.


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