Tar: Don't touch existing files

Tar is a handy dandy command, Its function is to create and extract archive files known as tarfiles. While tar can be used in various situations, one situation is when you need to move files from one server to another while maintaining permissions. Tar will retain the permissions and allow you to transfer 1 big file rather than many files.

In this situation there could be a time where you don’t want tar to overwrite files that already exist. Well tar can take care of that as well by adding the -k flag.

Example:

[[email protected] play]$ echo 1 > 1.txt   
[[email protected] play]$ tar -xzf files.tgz 1.txt  
[[email protected] play]$ cat 1.txt   
[[email protected] play]$ echo 1 > 1.txt   
[[email protected] play]$ tar -xzf files.tgz 1.txt -k  
[[email protected] play]$ cat 1.txt   
1

Also note the placement of the -k matters, if it is mixed with the -xzf it will not work.

About Benjamin

Benjamin is a Infrastructure and Software Engineer. On this blog he writes about Linux, Docker, Programming as well as other Systems topics.

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