Compress files using tar Command on ubuntu

First, open up a terminal under Ubuntu Linux. Some directories such as /etc require root permissions to read and write for backup. So you may need to run tar command using sudo command. In this example backup, /etc and your /home/vivek to /backup directory, enter:
$ sudo mkdir /backup
$ sudo tar -zcvpf /backup/files.backup.Nov_6_2009.tar.gz /etc/ /home/vivek

  • z : Compress the backup file with 'gzip' to make it smaller.
  • c : Create a new backup archive called /backup/files.backup.Nov_6_2009.tar.gz.
  • v : Verbose mode, the tar command will display what it's doing to the screen.
  • p : Preserves the permissions of the files put in the archive for restoration later.
  • f /backup/files.backup.Nov_6_2009.tar.gz: Specifies where to store the backup, /backup/files.backup.Nov_6_2009.tar.gz is the filename used in this example.

How Do I Exclude Certain Files or Directories?

You can exclude all *.mp3 stored in /home/vivek/music directory with --exclude option:
$ sudo tar --exclude='/home/vivek/music/' -zcvpf /backup/files.backup.Nov_6_2009.tar.gz /etc/ /home/vivek
Another example (exclude ~/music/ and ~/Downloads/*.avi files):
$ sudo tar --exclude='/home/vivek/music/' --exclude='/home/vivek/Downloads/*.avi' -zcvpf /backup/files.backup.Nov_6_2009.tar.gz /etc/ /home/vivek

How Do I See a List Of Files Stored In Tar Ball or an Archive?

Type the following command:
$ sudo tar -ztvf /backup/files.backup.Nov_6_2009.tar.gz
  • t: List the contents of an archive.

How Do I Restore Files?

You can use the command as follows to restore everything in / directory:
$ sudo tar -xvpzf /backup/files.backup.Nov_6_2009.tar.gz -C /
$ cd /
$ sudo tar -xvpzf /backup/files.backup.Nov_6_2009.tar.gz

  • -x: Extract the files.
  • -C / : Extract the files in / directory.
In this example, you are restoring to the /delta directory.
$ sudo tar -xvpzf /backup/files.backup.Nov_6_2009.tar.gz -C /delta

How Do I Backup Files To a Remote Server Called

Type the command as follows to backup /etc/ and /home/vivek directories to a remote system called
$ sudo -s
# ssh "mkdir /backup"
# tar zcvpf - /etc/ /home/vivek | ssh "cat > /backup/files.backup.Nov_6_2009.tar.gz"

How Do I Restore Backup From a Remote System to Local Ubuntu Box?

Type the command
$ sudo -s
# cd /
# ssh "cat /backup/files.backup.Nov_6_2009.tar.gz" | tar zxpvf -