To place the files blues, folk, and jazz into an
archive named collection.tar, use the following command:
$ tar --create --file=collection.tar blues folk jazz
The order of the arguments is not very important, when using long
option forms. You could also say:
$ tar blues --create folk --file=collection.tar jazz
However, you can see that this order is harder to understand; this is
why we will list the arguments in the order that makes the commands
easiest to understand (and we encourage you to do the same when you use
tar, to avoid errors).
Note that the part of the command which says,
--file=collection.tar is considered to be one argument.
If you substituted any other string of characters for
collection.tar, then that string would become the name of the
archive file you create.
The order of the options becomes more important when you begin to use
short forms. With short forms, if you type commands in the wrong order
(even if you type them correctly in all other ways), you may end up with
results you don't expect. For this reason, it is a good idea to get
into the habit of typing options in the order that makes inherent sense.
See short create, for more information on this.
In this example, you type the command as shown above: --create
is the operation which creates the new archive
(collection.tar), and --file is the option which lets
you give it the name you chose. The files, blues, folk,
and jazz, are now members of the archive, collection.tar
(they are file name arguments to the --create operation).
Now that they are
in the archive, they are called archive members, not files.
When you create an archive, you must specify which files you
want placed in the archive. If you do not specify any archive
members, GNU tar will complain.
If you now list the contents of the working directory (ls), you will
find the archive file listed as well as the files you saw previously:
blues folk jazz collection.tar
Creating the archive ‘collection.tar’ did not destroy the copies of
the files in the directory.
Keep in mind that if you don't indicate an operation, tar will not
run and will prompt you for one. If you don't name any files, tar
will complain. You must have write access to the working directory,
or else you will not be able to create an archive in that directory.
Caution: Do not attempt to use --create (-c) to add files to
an existing archive; it will delete the archive and write a new one.
Use --append (-r) instead. See append.
Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License