SUMMARY: tar r (append) to remote drives

From: Chris Stoddart (
Date: Thu Apr 02 1998 - 09:03:14 CST

Whoa guys, loads and loads of answers already!

I probably didn't explain myself very well because many of you misunderstood
what I was asking - I didn't want to add more tar files to the tape I
wanted to append to the tar archive already on the tape (this is the tar
r option).

The command 'tar cfb - 20 files | rsh host dd of=/dev/rmt/0 obs=20b'
creates a tar achive on 'host', and I knew you could add additional tar
files by using the no-rewind option/and or the mt command. What I wanted
to do was to put that same tape in a week later (say) and add (append) to
the tar file on there already. So I end up with one tar file that gets
bigger and bigger rather than lots of little tar files.

It seems there is no way to do this on a remote tape drive using the Sun
version of tar. However gnu tar supports the host:/device option which
lets you go:

tar cvf host:/dev/rmt/0 files (creates a tar file on the tape)
tar rvf host:/dev/rmt/0 morefiles (adds more files to the end)

I downloaded version 1.12 of gnu tar and built it, and it works perfectly
despite the files being on a SunOS machine and the tape drive on a
Solaris machine.

Many thanks to you all, and especially those who figured out what I was
asking and recommeded gnu.


Dr Chris Stoddart: Unix SysAdmin,
Department of Computer Science, 
Sheffield University, U.K.

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