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I am writing, well actually enhancing, a script to do a daily backup of important data on my PC to a second hard drive. I wish to tar my home directory to a single file - and will probably use gzip as well. So I decided to work out the correct tar syntax in a terminal first - here is what happened.
I opened a terminal window
I cd to a directory not part of my home directory
I issued the command
tar -cvf mytar.tar /home/ken
tar processed a bunch of files, the last being .netrc and then displayed the following message
tar: Exiting with failure status due to previous errors
I examined the tar file and it contains .netrc. The contents of .netrc are correct.
I scrolled back through the list of files in the terminal window and do not see any error messages.
I guess the question is... how do I determine what file tripped up the tar process?
Thanks for the quick reply amani. I am running all ext3 file systems so I do not think that is the issue.
Can you please tell me more about the debuginfo package. Is it available for Ubuntu - I do not find it in Synaptic nor do I find any debug packages associated with tar. I have googled for debuginfo and it appears to be a RedHat/Fedora package(?)
I just did a tar of my .netrc file as suggested. It worked fine, no error and the .netrc file is in the tar file as expected.
I am guessing that the file which caused the problem is the one which tar tried to process after .netrc. However, I have no idea what that file would be. Is tar reading files by timestamp, name alphabetically, inode number???
The tar command should tell you the error that occured (you may need to look back through the output). Usually this happens when a file changes or gets deleted while tar is trying to archive it. This is pretty common when archiving large directory and is nothing to worry about if that's what happened.
I have again looked line for line through the output. I see nothing to indicate a problem. I do note that the tar file is about 8.8 MB and my home directory is about 90 GB. I am not using compression so obviously the process is dying before processing all of the files under /home/ken.