[Techtalk] Quiet tar?

Magni Onsoien magnio+lc-techtalk at pvv.ntnu.no
Tue Dec 2 16:42:47 EST 2003

(Whenever I mention 'tar' in this mail, I mean GNU tar. I use version
1.13.25 myself. I am open for alternative implementations of tar that
have the options I miss, but I am not that interested in another peice
of backup softweare since this isn't a tool I use just for backup. It's
my tar-problem, not a backup-problem.)

I use (GNU) tar for backup of several machines. One thing that has
annoyed me for years is that tar doesn't have an option to make it silent.
It will always tell you it removes leading /, ignores a socket etc.
Information like this is completely acceptable as default configuration
for such a program - it doesn't hurt if it's mentioned, and tar doesn't
just die when it occurs.

But for use in scripts I really miss a --quiet feature, something that
will make it tell me only about critical errors, like regular files it 
couldn't read or write, something that will make it not write
debug-information (like "Removing leading /") and make it possible to
ignore sockets automagically.

There are loads of ways to get through this, with grep, --ignore and
exit codes, but I feel they are workarounds - not solutions.

Now I am wondering WHY tar doesn't have any features like this. It has
been used for years, also for purposes like my own (backup), and I think
it's really strange if I am the first one being annoyed by this. Does
anyone here know if there has been discussions on this matter in mailing
lists or other foras for (GNU) tar, or is the "GNU tar community" open
for a simple question on this matter?

If this was a younger and less widespread piece of software, I wouldn't
hesistate asking on its mailinglist etc, but since it's as established
as it is, I don't really want to start a flame war by asking....

Magni :)
sash is very good for you.

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