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Taming the tar command: Tips for managing backups in Linux

Taming the tar command: Tips for managing backups in Linux

Learn how the tar command can help you create and manage backups smartly and easily in this quick, informative tutorial.


Ever try something, it didn’t work, and you didn’t make a backup first?

One of the key rules for working as a system administrator is always to make a backup. You never know when you might need it. In my personal experience, it has saved me more times than I can count. It’s a common practice to complete and sometimes makes a difference in your finished work.

The tar utility has a ton of options and available usage. Tar stands for tape archive and allows you to create backups using: targzip, and bzip. It compresses files and directories into an archive file, known as a tarball. This command is one of the most widely-used commands for this purpose. Also, the tarball is easily movable from one server to the next.

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