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Table of Contents

Introduction to Cpio

GNU cpio copies files into or out of a cpio or tar archive. The archive can be another file on the disk, a magnetic tape, or a pipe.

GNU cpio supports the following archive formats: binary, old ASCII, new ASCII, crc, HPUX binary, HPUX old ASCII, old tar, and POSIX.1 tar. The tar format is provided for compatibility with the tar program. By default, cpio creates binary format archives, for compatibility with older cpio programs. When extracting from archives, cpio automatically recognizes which kind of archive it is reading and can read archives created on machines with a different byte-order.

Downloading Cpio

GNU cpio can be found on https://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/cpio/ or one of the mirrors.

Alpha releases of the development version can be downloaded from alpha.gnu.org.

The project's homepage at Savannah is the place to look for the latest news and patches for the project.


GNU cpio is fully documented. Complete documentation in Texinfo format is included in the distribution. An online manual is available in various formats.

Mailing lists

If you wish to send a bug report, a feature request, or simply to share your thoughts about GNU cpio, please write to <bug-cpio@gnu.org>. Notice, that this is a moderated list, i.e. postings from non-subscribers are held until one of moderators has time to approve them. To subscribe to the list, visit https://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/bug-cpio.


Date Version Download (please use one of the mirrors instead) Information
2019-11-06 2.13 cpio-2.13.tar.gz and its signature
cpio-2.13.tar.bz2 and its signature
  • Fix CVE-2015-1197
  • Fix CVE-2016-2037
  • Fix CVE-2019-14866
2015-09-12 2.12 cpio-2.12.tar.gz and its signature
cpio-2.12.tar.bz2 and its signature
  • Improved documentation.
  • Manpages are installed by make install.
  • New options for copy-out mode: --ignore-devno, --renumber-inodes, --device-independent, --reproducible.
2010-03-10 2.11 cpio-2.11.tar.gz and its signature
cpio-2.11.tar.bz2 and its signature
cpio-2.11.shar.gz and its signature
  • Fix mt build.
  • In copy-in mode, if directory attributes do not permit writing to it, setting them is delayed until the end of run. This allows to correctly extract files in such directories.
  • In copy-in mode, permissions of a directory are restored if it appears in the file list after files in it (e.g. in listings produced by find . -depth). This fixes debian bug #458079.
  • Fix possible memory overflow in the rmt client code (CVE-2010-0624).
2009-06-20 2.10 cpio-2.10.tar.gz and its signature
cpio-2.10.tar.bz2 and its signature
  • Ensure record headers are properly packed (fix builds on ARM).
  • Fix exit codes to reliably indicate success or failure of the operation.
  • Fix large file support.
  • Support MinGW builds.
  • Minor bugfixes.
2007-06-28 2.9 cpio-2.9.tar.gz and its signature
cpio-2.9.tar.bz2 and its signature
  • Licensed under the GPLv3.
  • Bugfixes
    • Honor umask when creating intermediate directories, not specified in the archive (debian bug #430053).
2007-06-08 2.8 cpio-2.8.tar.gz and its signature
cpio-2.8.tar.bz2 and its signature
  • Option --owner can be used in copy-out mode, allowing to uniformly override the ownership of the files being added to the archive.
  • Bugfixes:
    • Symlinks were handled incorrectly in copy-out mode.
    • Fix handling of large files.
    • Fix setting the file permissions in copy-out mode.
    • Fix CAN-2005-1111
2006-10-21 2.7 cpio-2.7.tar.gz and its signature
cpio-2.7.tar.bz2 and its signature
  • Improved error checking and diagnostics
  • Fixed CAN-1999-1572
  • Allow to use --sparse in both copy-in and copy-pass.
  • Fix bug that eventually caused copying out the same hard-linked file several times to archive.
  • Fix several LFS-related issues.
  • Fix Debian bug #335580.
2004-12-20 2.6 cpio-2.6.tar.gz and its signature
cpio-2.6.tar.bz2 and its signature
  • Added NLS support
  • Improved configure script
  • Improved invocation consistency checking and help output
  • Printing warning about truncation of inode numbers is suppressed by default.
  • New option --warning (-W) controls the level of output warnings:
    -Wnone Disables all warnings
    -Wtruncate Enable warning about truncation of the inode number
    -Wall Enables all warnings
    To disable a particular warning, prefix its name with 'no-', just like in gcc.
  • New option --to-stdout extracts files to standard output.
  • The output of cpio --help is largely improved.
  • Bugfixes
2004-09-16 2.5.90 cpio-2.5.90.tar.gz and its signature
cpio-2.5.90.tar.bz2 and its signature
See NEWS and ChangeLog files.

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