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You can remove members from an archive by using the `--delete'
option. Specify the name of the archive with `--file'
(`-f') and then specify the names of the members to be deleted;
if you list no member names, nothing will be deleted. The
`--verbose' option will cause
tar to print the names
of the members as they are deleted. As with `--extract', you
must give the exact member names when using `tar --delete'.
`--delete' will remove all versions of the named file from the
archive. The `--delete' operation can run very slowly.
Unlike other operations, `--delete' has no short form.
This operation will rewrite the archive. You can only use `--delete' on an archive if the archive device allows you to write to any point on the media, such as a disk; because of this, it does not work on magnetic tapes. Do not try to delete an archive member from a magnetic tape; the action will not succeed, and you will be likely to scramble the archive and damage your tape. There is no safe way (except by completely re-writing the archive) to delete files from most kinds of magnetic tape. See section Tapes and Other Archive Media.
To delete all versions of the file `blues' from the archive `collection.tar' in the `practice' directory, make sure you are in that directory, and then,
$ tar --list --file=collection.tar blues folk jazz rock $ tar --delete --file=collection.tar blues $ tar --list --file=collection.tar folk jazz rock
See Check if the above listing is actually produced after running all the examples on collection.tar.
The `--delete' option has been reported to work properly when
tar acts as a filter from
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