How to List Archives
Frequently, you will find yourself wanting to determine exactly what
a particular archive contains. You can use the `--list' (`-t')
operation to get the member names as they currently appear in the
archive, as well as various attributes of the files at the time they
were archived. For example, you can examine the archive
`collection.tar' that you created in the last section with the command,
$ tar --list --file=collection.tar
The output of `tar' would then be:
The archive `bfiles.tar' would list as follows:
Be sure to use a `--file=ARCHIVE-NAME' (`-f ARCHIVE-NAME') option just
as with `--create' (`-c') to specify the name of the archive.
If you use the `--verbose' (`-v') option with `--list', then `tar'
will print out a listing reminiscent of `ls -l', showing owner, file
size, and so forth.
If you had used `--verbose' (`-v') mode, the example above would look
$ tar --list --verbose --file=collection.tar folk
-rw-rw-rw- myself user 62 1990-05-23 10:55 folk
You can specify one or more individual member names as arguments when
using `list'. In this case, `tar' will only list the names of members
you identify. For example, `tar --list --file=afiles.tar apple' would
only print `apple'.
Because `tar' preserves paths, file names must be specified as they
appear in the archive (ie., relative to the directory from which the
archive was created). Therefore, it is essential when specifying
member names to `tar' that you give the exact member names. For
example, `tar --list --file=bfiles birds' would produce an error message
something like `tar: birds: Not found in archive', because there is no
member named `birds', only one named `./birds'. While the names
`birds' and `./birds' name the same file, _member_ names are compared
using a simplistic name comparison, in which an exact match is
However, `tar --list --file=collection.tar folk' would respond with
`folk', because `folk' is in the archive file `collection.tar'. If you
are not sure of the exact file name, try listing all the files in the
archive and searching for the one you expect to find; remember that if
you use `--list' with no file names as arguments, `tar' will print the
names of all the members stored in the specified archive.
* list dir
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