tar: Exclude directories/files

Written by Benjamin Cane on 2011-07-26 08:00:32

Tar is a essential commands for a Linux/Unix user, when it comes to archiving or copying files tar is my favorite.

Today's shell-fu examples will show you how to create a tar file that excludes specified directories and files. You can achieve this two ways.

1. Using the --exclude flag

[[email protected] play]$ tar -cvzf ../tar.tgz --exclude="./somedir" ./  
./  
./files.tgz  
./list.txt  
./3.txt  
./2.txt  
./4.txt  
./1.txt

2. Using the -X flag followed by a file to read

[[email protected] play]$ cat list.txt   
1.txt  
2.txt  
3.txt  
[[email protected] play]$ tar -cvzf ../tar.tgz -X list.txt ./  
./  
./files.tgz  
./list.txt  
./somedir/  
./4.txt

The second option is very handy when you have a large list of files/directories to exclude.


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Benjamin is a Systems Architect working in the financial services industry focused on platforms that require Continuous Availability. He has been working with Linux and Unix for over 10 years now and has recently published his first book; Red Hat Enterprise Linux Troubleshooting Guide.

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