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Distribution: LFS 5.0, building 6.3, win98se, multiboot
Many linux commands accept more than one v. Basically, it makes the command more verbose (more chatter ). For some commands this is very usefull, lspci -vv gives a lot more info about the pci hardware than lspci -v . Iirc, you can go lspci -vvv and get several pages worth, instead of a dozen lines or so with lspci -v .
All the commands do have a man page or an info page where you can read all options.
Sometimes you will find that both (man and info) are present, but only one of them has all the info and is updated regularly. In the case of tar, the author decided that that would be the info page, so, in "info tar" you can read this:
Specifies that `tar' should be more verbose about the operations
it is performing. This option can be specified multiple times for
some operations to increase the amount of information displayed.
While the tar page has a lot less information. So, if man doesn't give enough info, you can look for an info page, or vice-versa.
I'm reminded of the statement about the suffixes to the SED "s" command: You can combine them "where it makes sense".
There are many examples where is it obvious that doubling up on the flags does NOT make sense. eg "ls -RR" makes no sense, nor does "grep -ee".
My rule is to first keep it simple, and second to go to the man page to figure out how to do one specific thing. Reading man pages for all the possibilities is not going to have a high return on investment.