AIX 4.1 tar command flags/syntax question

Hello Experts,
I am trying to change an existing tape backup job on my RS6000 (AIX 4.1) to include other filesystems.  Below is the current shellscript that backs up the /dbms filesystem.  Instead of backing up /dbms, I would like to back up the /u1, /home, /var and /usr filesystems.  Your help would be greatly appreciated.

cd /dbms                                                
tar -cvf/dev/rmt0 . > /tmp/backup/dbms.list 2>&1  
if [ $rc -eq 0 ]                                        
   mail root < /home/shellscripts/backups/dbms.success
   mail root < /home/shellscripts/backups/dbms.failure
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If you don't want the top level directories (e.g. u1, home, ...) in the archived path:

tar -cvf/dev/rmt0 -C /u1 . -C /home . -C /var . -C /usr .

This will give a result similar to the command you posted.

If you want to include the top level directories, but relative to ".":

cd /
tar -cvf/dev/rmt0 ./u1 ./home ./var ./usr

and finally, if you want absolute paths:

tar -cvf/dev/rmt0 /u1 /home /var /usr


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NatspapAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  I chose Option #2 (include top level directories relative to "."). I believe my backup was successful (I see files from each of the four directories in the logfile) but I'm getting the FAILED backup message (see new script below):

cd /                                                                            
tar -cvf/dev/rmt0 ./u1 ./home ./var ./usr > /tmp/backup/u1-home-var-usr.list 2>&1
if [ $rc -eq 0 ]                                                                
   mail root < /home/shellscripts/backups/u1-home-var-usr.success              
   mail root < /home/shellscripts/backups/u1-home-var-usr.failure              
There must be an error message in the log. Your script is perfect.
Please check, there might be a bad link or the like.
If the log is too big you could redirect stderr to its own file, use "2>/path/to/errorlog" instead of "2>&1"
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NatspapAuthor Commented:
Eyeballed error log and didn't see anything that looked like an error message, but it's a huge log so I could have missed it.  I'll redirect stderr to its own file as you suggested and see what happens.  Thanks.
NatspapAuthor Commented:
OK.  Found the problem (written to new error log):

tar: 0511-180 ./var/adm/cron/FIFO is not a valid tar file type.

Is there a way I can exclude that file from the backup?  Not a big deal I guess as long as I remember that the reason I'm getting the FAILED message is because of this.

glad you found it.

AIX' tar is a bit pedestrian when it comes to excluding files from an archive.

Simplest way is to create a file containing the full paths of files to be excluded and to give the name of this file to tar using the "-X" option.
So create a file named e.g. /tmp/tar.exclude containing just


(exactly so!)

Modify your tar command like this:

tar -X /tmp/tar.exclude -cvf/dev/rmt0 ./u1 ./home ./var ./usr > /tmp/backup/u1-home-var-usr.list 2>&1

As long as it's just for excluding FIFO files you could also try the "-d" flag (not sure if it will work in any case though):

tar -d -cvf/dev/rmt0 ./u1 ./home ./var ./usr > /tmp/backup/u1-home-var-usr.list 2>&1
NatspapAuthor Commented:
Will try the "-d" flag first and if that doesn't produce desired result will try your first suggestion.  Thanks for the quick responses.
NatspapAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your prompt responses and attention to detail.  Your ranking is well deserved.
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