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This appendix lists some important user-visible changes between
various versions of GNU
tar. An up-to-date version of this document
is available at
tar documentation page.
Previous versions of GNU tar assumed shell-style globbing when extracting from or listing an archive. For example:
$ tar xf foo.tar '*.c'
would extract all files whose names end in ‘.c’. This behavior was not documented and was incompatible with traditional tar implementations. Therefore, starting from version 1.15.91, GNU tar no longer uses globbing by default. For example, the above invocation is now interpreted as a request to extract from the archive the file named ‘*.c’.
To facilitate transition to the new behavior for those users who got
used to the previous incorrect one,
tar will print a warning
if it finds out that a requested member was not found in the archive
and its name looks like a globbing pattern. For example:
$ tar xf foo.tar '*.c' tar: Pattern matching characters used in file names. Please, tar: use --wildcards to enable pattern matching, or --no-wildcards to tar: suppress this warning. tar: *.c: Not found in archive tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors
To treat member names as globbing patterns, use the ‘--wildcards’ option.
If you want to tar to mimic the behavior of versions prior to 1.15.91,
add this option to your
See section Wildcards Patterns and Matching, for the detailed discussion of the use of globbing
patterns by GNU
Earlier versions of GNU
tar understood ‘-o’ command line
option as a synonym for ‘--old-archive’.
tar starting from version 1.13.90 understands this option as
a synonym for ‘--no-same-owner’. This is compatible with
However, to facilitate transition, ‘-o’ option retains its old semantics when it is used with one of archive-creation commands. Users are encouraged to use ‘--format=oldgnu’ instead.
It is especially important, since versions of GNU Automake up to and including 1.8.4 invoke tar with this option to produce distribution tarballs. See section v7, for the detailed discussion of this issue and its implications.
See Changing Automake’s Behavior in GNU Automake, for a description on how to use various
archive formats with
Future versions of GNU
tar will understand ‘-o’ only as a
synonym for ‘--no-same-owner’.
Earlier versions of GNU
tar understood ‘-l’ option as a
synonym for ‘--one-file-system’. Since such usage contradicted
to UNIX98 specification and harmed compatibility with other
implementations, it was declared deprecated in version 1.14. However,
to facilitate transition to its new semantics, it was supported by
versions 1.15 and 1.15.90. The present use of ‘-l’ as a short
variant of ‘--check-links’ was introduced in version 1.15.91.
These options are deprecated. Please use ‘--format=v7’ instead.
This option is deprecated. Please use ‘--format=posix’ instead.
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