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Old 03-28-2009, 08:06 AM   #1
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delete files from tar using wildcards


The problem is this: I have a 32 GB tar.gz file on a server and just about
600 mb of disk space left. The archive contains backups but also a lot( really a lot ) of mp3 files which can be removed from the archive. How do I use the delete command in TAR to remove all mp3's without knowing the names ( there's just too many ).

Old 03-28-2009, 08:48 AM   #2
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:21 AM   #3
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So far I have not yet known any other way than "specifying" particular names of archive members to be deleted therefrom. I hope others can give you the fitting answer. I suppose you have known already the usual way of deleting files from inside archive, which have the following conditions:

--You must be in the same folder where the archive is located
--Better you be a root to avoid unwanted returns
--You must have write permission on the folder disk space

then issue the usual command:

# tar --delete --file='archive_name.tar' file1 file2 file3 file4 file5
<file1-file5 are lists of files you want to delete>

As this procedure moves deleted files into the trashcan you must subsequently clean the trashcan in order to gain space for another tar deleting.

You may get list of archive contents using --list switch on tar.


'tar --delete..' has reputation of often corrupting the archive if command is not properly handled. So be careful.

Hope this can help.


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