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8.3.2 Symbolic Links

Normally, when tar archives a symbolic link, it writes a block to the archive naming the target of the link. In that way, the tar archive is a faithful record of the file system contents. When `--dereference' (`-h') is used with `--create' (`-c'), tar archives the files symbolic links point to, instead of the links themselves.

When creating portable archives, use `--dereference' (`-h'): some systems do not support symbolic links, and moreover, your distribution might be unusable if it contains unresolved symbolic links.

When reading from an archive, the `--dereference' (`-h') option causes tar to follow an already-existing symbolic link when tar writes or reads a file named in the archive. Ordinarily, tar does not follow such a link, though it may remove the link before writing a new file. See section Options Controlling the Overwriting of Existing Files.

The `--dereference' option is unsafe if an untrusted user can modify directories while tar is running. See section Security.

This document was generated by Sergey Poznyakoff on December, 17 2017 using texi2html 1.76.