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The ‘--after-date=date’ (‘--newer=date’,
‘-N date’) option causes
tar to only work on
files whose data modification or status change times are newer than
the date given. If date starts with ‘/’ or ‘.’,
it is taken to be a file name; the data modification time of that file
is used as the date. If you use this option when creating or appending
to an archive, the archive will only include new files. If you use
‘--after-date’ when extracting an archive,
only extract files newer than the date you specify.
If you only want
tar to make the date comparison based on
modification of the file’s data (rather than status
changes), then use the ‘--newer-mtime=date’ option.
You may use these options with any operation. Note that these options
differ from the ‘--update’ (‘-u’) operation in that they
allow you to specify a particular date against which
compare when deciding whether or not to archive the files.
Only store files newer than date.
Acts on files only if their data modification or status change times are later than date. Use in conjunction with any operation.
If date starts with ‘/’ or ‘.’, it is taken to be a file name; the data modification time of that file is used as the date.
Acts like ‘--after-date’, but only looks at data modification times.
These options limit
tar to operate only on files which have
been modified after the date specified. A file’s status is considered to have
changed if its contents have been modified, or if its owner,
permissions, and so forth, have been changed. (For more information on
how to specify a date, see Date input formats; remember that the
entire date argument must be quoted if it contains any spaces.)
Gurus would say that ‘--after-date’ tests both the data
modification time (
mtime, the time the contents of the file
were last modified) and the status change time (
ctime, the time
the file’s status was last changed: owner, permissions, etc.)
fields, while ‘--newer-mtime’ tests only the
To be precise, ‘--after-date’ checks both
ctime and processes the file if either one is more recent than
date, while ‘--newer-mtime’ only checks
ctime. Neither does it use
atime (the last time the
contents of the file were looked at).
Date specifiers can have embedded spaces. Because of this, you may need to quote date arguments to keep the shell from parsing them as separate arguments. For example, the following command will add to the archive all the files modified less than two days ago:
$ tar -cf foo.tar --newer-mtime '2 days ago'
When any of these options is used with the option ‘--verbose’
(see section The ‘--verbose’ Option) GNU
tar will try to convert the specified
date back to its textual representation and compare that with the
one given with the option. If the two dates differ,
print a warning saying what date it will use. This is to help user
ensure he is using the right date. For example:
$ tar -c -f archive.tar --after-date='10 days ago' . tar: Option --after-date: Treating date '10 days ago' as 2006-06-11 13:19:37.232434
Please Note: ‘--after-date’ and ‘--newer-mtime’ should not be used for incremental backups. See section Using
tarto Perform Incremental Dumps, for proper way of creating incremental backups.
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