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3 Invoking GNU tar

This chapter is about how one invokes the GNU tar command, from the command synopsis (see section General Synopsis of tar). There are numerous options, and many styles for writing them. One mandatory option specifies the operation tar should perform (see section Operations), other options are meant to detail how this operation should be performed (see section tar Options). Non-option arguments are not always interpreted the same way, depending on what the operation is.

You will find in this chapter everything about option styles and rules for writing them (see section The Three Option Styles). On the other hand, operations and options are fully described elsewhere, in other chapters. Here, you will find only synthetic descriptions for operations and options, together with pointers to other parts of the tar manual.

Some options are so special they are fully described right in this chapter. They have the effect of inhibiting the normal operation of tar or else, they globally alter the amount of feedback the user receives about what is going on. These are the ‘--help’ and ‘--version’ (see section GNU tar documentation), ‘--verbose’ (see section Checking tar progress) and ‘--interactive’ options (see section Asking for Confirmation During Operations).

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