Creating a tarball the proper way is very, very easy. First, let's consider what is expected of a tarball. For example:
netgeek ~% ls -F bin/ share/ foo-0.91.tar netgeek ~% tar -xf foo-0.91.tar netgeek ~% ls -F bin/ share/ foo-0.91/ foo-0.91.tar netgeek ~% ls -F foo-0.91 bar barney baz foo
As you can see, the tarball creates a directory named after itself and placed all its files in that directory. It does not just unpack the files into the current working directory.
Your tarball is one of many. To distinguish your files from other, surrounding files, create a directory to place all the files in. For consistency, name the directory after the tarball.
A fast way of removing all files that any tarball unpacks is
tar -tf foo.tar | xargs rm -rf . This is: list all the files contained in the tarball, then delete each (if it's a directory, delete everything in the directory). Under a Unix-like filesystem
. is another name for the current working directory. So, if the tarball contains
. that means that command will delete the current directory and everything below it. This is not good — do not do it!
Let us assume you have a bunch of files pertaining to the fourth edition of the book DNS And Bind. They would be stored in a directory named
dns_and_bind-4. To make the tarball, named
tar -zcf dns_and_bind-4.tar.gz dns_and_bind
z gzips the tarball, the
c tells it to create a tarball, and
f is followed by the file to work on — in this case, the output file.
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