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Old 09-02-2013, 12:29 PM   #1
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flagging files to be backed up using tar?


I am a newbie to both Linux and these forums. I wasn't sure if this question should go in the Newbie section or in the General section so if this isn't the appropriate section hopefully a mod can move it to the right one.

The short version of my question: Is there a way to flag files to be backed up using tar so that if I execute tar in a directory where some of the files are flagged and others aren't, it will only include the flagged files?

Full background: I am making some modifications to a Linux embedded device. Most of the changes/additions will be placed on an external drive attached to the device so I can back that up easily. However, some of the changes add or modify files on the internal storage of the device. I've read that firmware updates are sometimes remotely pushed by the device manufacturer and when that happens it can wipeout any changes I've made to the internal storage.

So I'd like to find an easy way to backup only the files that are added or modified. My idea is that I could create a tarball that when extracted from the root directory would add all these new files again in one easy step.

My problem is that the original steps to modify the device add/change files in many different directories. Is there some easy way I can make or flag each of these files so that only the modified/added files would be included when I create the tarball and the stock/manufacturer's files would be excluded as these might be changed when the firmware is updated? Hopefully something easier than having to individually list each files on the command line. (Or even if I could create the list of files by using the ls command and piping the output to a file so I don't have to manually type the full path & name for each file.)

Any ideas? Is tar what I want to use for this?
Old 09-02-2013, 12:40 PM   #2
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Have a look at tar's -N option, that only stores files newer than a certain date into the archive, that may be what you are seeking for.


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