AIX 5.2 tar -X to exclude a directory

I would like to exclude a directory from my tar of /usr/sap/trans backup.
i have tried using the -X option (as specified in the man pages), but the option is not recognised when it is in the command.
The command I am trying to run is:
tar -cvf trans.tar /usr/sap/trans -X /usr/sap/trans/<dir_to_exclude>
The system does not like the -X option.

Any ideas?
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Kerem ERSOYConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
In fact I guess there's a need for clarification. -X excludes a list of files and directories and the parameter to -X is not an expression but a filename. So in the above example by me:
/usr/sap/trans/dir_to_excl is not a directory name it is a filename and it contains the names and paths of files and directories one at a line.

It is only the GNU tar that could exclude expressions from the command line.

so if you create a filename /usr/sap/trans/dir_to_excl and place this line in it such as this one:
/usr/sap/trans/file1      (assumenf that there's a file caleld file1 in the directory)

The tared contents will not include these files.


Kerem ERSOYConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:

The correct syntax would be:

tar -cvf trans.tar -X /usr/sap/trans/dir_to_excl /usr/sap/trans

All the switches must be specified before backup lists. It should work this way.


Kerem ERSOYConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
Don't forgeet that -X can contain only one file or directory at a time an you can specify multiple occurences of -X and the -X switch has a precedence over all the other commands and will be processed first.

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Hi ShamelessUK,
you're right, tar as shipped with AIX 5.2 doesn't honour the -X option.

How about upgrading to 5.3?

OK, seriously,  you can use the tar  contained in the AIX toolbox or here -

Download it, install using 'rpm -i tar-1.22-1.aix5.1.ppc.rpm'

and call it by '/opt/freeware/bin/tar ......'  with the remaining parameters as in your Q.

If, for some reason, there was no possibility for you to install that tar version, we could construct an 'include' file, use of which is supported with your tar.
For that construction we need to know your exclusion criteria. Perhaps we can then work out something useful.

Good luck!



Kerem ERSOYPresidentCommented:

> Hi ShamelessUK,
> you're right, tar as shipped with AIX 5.2 doesn't honour the -X option.

I am afraid this is not correct. -X option is supported by AIX V 5.2 an up. Furthermore if it did not accept the switch it would print a nag line such as:

tar: illegal option -- X

gheistConnect With a Mentor Commented:
AIX uses POSIX compliant tar without gnu extensions.
You can create file list using find, grep out wrong folders and pass to tar.

find / -type f -print | grep -v /bad/folder | xargs tar cf /tmp/data.tar
Kerem ERSOYPresidentCommented:
Will you post the output of tar command (I mean the usage info when you type just tar on a line)? also the output of oslevel -r ?

Should be similar to this:
Usage: tar -{c|r|t|u|x} [ -BdDEFhilmopRsUvw ] [ -Number ] [ -f TarFile ]
           [ -b Blocks ] [ -S [ Feet ] | [ Feet@Density ] | [ Blocksb ] ]
           [ -L InputList ] [-X ExcludeFile] [ -N Blocks ] [ -C Directory ] File ...
Usage: tar {c|r|t|u|x} [ bBdDEfFhilLXmNopRsSUvw[0-9] ]
           [ Blocks ] [ TarFile ] [ InputList ] [ ExcludeFile ]
           [ [ Feet ] | [ Feet@Density ] | [ Blocksb ] ] [-C Directory ] File ...

ShamelessukAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys.  I had to tar individual directories in the end as it was a customer system and they removed my root access shortly after I posted the question - thus killing my attempts to try out the solutions suggested.  That said, I have tried them out on a different machine and all seemed to work as expected.
Thanks again,
If it goes routine try gnu tar - remember that normal AIX tar will not be able to open files (7-zip or tar on linux/bsd will open them)
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