Home » tar –exclude doesn’t exclude. Why?

tar –exclude doesn’t exclude. Why?

Solutons:


It may be that your version of tar requires that the --exclude options have to be placed at the beginning of the tar command.

See: https://stackoverflow.com/q/984204

tar --exclude="./folder" --exclude="./upload/folder2" 
    -zcvf /backup/filename.tgz .

See: http://mandrivausers.org/index.php?/topic/8585-multiple-exclude-in-tar/

tar --exclude=<first> --exclude=<second> -cjf backupfile.bz2 /home/*

Alternative:

EXCLD='first second third'
tar -X <(for i in ${EXCLD}; do echo $i; done) -cjf backupfile.bz2 /home/*

Yet another tar command tip is from here:

tar cvfz myproject.tgz --exclude="path/dir_to_exclude1" 
                       --exclude="path/dir_to_exclude2" myproject

If you want to exclude an entire directory, your pattern should match that directory, not files within it. Use --exclude=/data/sub1 instead of --exclude="/data/sub1/*"

Be careful with quoting the patterns to protect them from shell expansion.

See this example, with trouble in the final invocation:

$ for i in 0 1 2; do mkdir -p /tmp/data/sub$i; echo foo > /tmp/data/sub$i/foo; done
$ find /tmp/data
/tmp/data
/tmp/data/sub2
/tmp/data/sub2/foo
/tmp/data/sub0
/tmp/data/sub0/foo
/tmp/data/sub1
/tmp/data/sub1/foo
$ tar -zvcf /tmp/_data.tar /tmp/data --exclude="/tmp/data/sub[1-2]"
tar: Removing leading `/' from member names
/tmp/data/
/tmp/data/sub0/
/tmp/data/sub0/foo
$ tar -zvcf /tmp/_data.tar /tmp/data --exclude=/tmp/data/sub[1-2]
tar: Removing leading `/' from member names
/tmp/data/
/tmp/data/sub0/
/tmp/data/sub0/foo
$ echo tar -zvcf /tmp/_data.tar /tmp/data --exclude=/tmp/data/sub[1-2]
tar -zvcf /tmp/_data.tar /tmp/data --exclude=/tmp/data/sub[1-2]
$ tar -zvcf /tmp/_data.tar /tmp/data --exclude /tmp/data/sub[1-2]
tar: Removing leading `/' from member names
/tmp/data/
/tmp/data/sub2/
/tmp/data/sub2/foo
/tmp/data/sub0/
/tmp/data/sub0/foo
/tmp/data/sub2/
tar: Removing leading `/' from hard link targets
/tmp/data/sub2/foo
$ echo tar -zvcf /tmp/_data.tar /tmp/data --exclude /tmp/data/sub[1-2]
tar -zvcf /tmp/_data.tar /tmp/data --exclude /tmp/data/sub1 /tmp/data/sub2

For excluding multiple files, try

--exclude=/data/{sub1,sub2,sub3,sub4}

This will save some code and headache. This is a global solution, for all kind of programs / options. If you also want to include the parent directory in your selection (in this case data), you have to include a trailing comma. E.g.:

umount /data/{sub1,sub2,}

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