Using Tar the Right Way

Tar is a great tool for combining multiple files into a single package. It’s most often used by system administrators to backup or transfer large groups of files, and it’s pretty easy to learn. But there are a few common pitfalls, and veteran sys admins can benefit from a quick review of proper tar usage.

Getting Started with Tar

To start, let’s look at the general command structure of tar. Here’s how a basic tar command might look:

`tar cf destination.tar files`

Let’s break this down. The c stands for create, which is what tells tar to package up the specified files into a single “destination” file. The f tells tar that our destination file is in fact a file, not a folder. The destination file is *.tar*, which stands for tape archive and is the industry standard. Lastly, files is the argument where we specify the files we want included in the package.

Common Pitfalls

Now let’s look at some of the common issues people run into with tar. The two main issues newbies (and even veteran sys admins) tend to make is using the wrong flags, and doing this without the use of absolute paths.

To start, always make sure you understand the exact meaning of the three flags: the c, the f, and the v. The c stands for create, as I explained earlier. The f tells tar to look for a file, not a folder. And the v stands for verbose, and it simply gives you more detail on the progress of the tar process.

The other common mistake is omitting the absolute path in the arguments. This means when you specify the files for tar to include, you need to provide it the full pathing from the root layer of the directory. So if your file is located in “/home/username/file.txt”, for instance, you’d need to include “/home/username/file.txt” in the argument instead of simply “file.txt”.

Pain and the CBD Advantage

Tar can be a seemingly complex tool, but when used properly it can be a powerful asset for sys admins. It’s a good idea to practice its usage and become familiar with the exact command structure as needed. Thankfully, with modern products like Panadiol CBD cream, any minor pains and strains from long hours of typing can be quickly alleviated, making it easier to focus on the task at hand. Through Panadiol’s natural CBD formula, I’m able to quickly and effectively treat my pain and muscle soreness associated with long hours of work as a system administrator.

If you’re looking to become a system administrator or want to brush up on your tar skills, understand the basic flags and always include the path when including file arguments. And if strain and pain does become an issue, make sure to keep Panadiol in your arsenal of pain relief products.

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