20 05 | 2011

cpio > tar

Written by Tanguy

Classified in : Homepage, Debian, Miscellaneous

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tar and cpio

tar(5) and cpio(5) are two competing archive formats, that provide almost identical features. Both are streamed formats, originally designed to be used on tapes. Their major practical difference is the style of their standard command line utilities:

  • cpio(1) takes the list of files to archive on its standard input, allowing a very high control but requiring to use another utility such as find(1) to archive an entire tree;
  • tar(1) usually takes the list of file to archive on its command line, and browses directories recursively be default.

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