tar Syntax Help

Drew Tomlinson drew at mykitchentable.net
Fri Jul 8 03:20:55 GMT 2005

I'm trying to copy an entire file system while using an exclude file to 
avoid copying things such as /dev, /proc, etc.  I've read the man page 
and found the -X or --exclude-from tar option.  I've create a file 
called /exclude.list.  It contains lines such as:


But I can't figure out how to form the correct command line.  I 
basically want to do this:

tar -cvf - --exclude-from /exclude.list -C / . | tar xpf - -C .

I've search the web and found examples that look similar to the above 
but this does not work for me.  tar attempts to copy /dev and I get all 
the associated errors.  I've tried other placements of either "-X", "X", 
and "--exclude from" on the command line various things happen from it 
just being ignored to tar thinking I want to create and archive named 
"-X", etc., to tar trying to add a file named "-X", etc. to the current 
archive.  I'm at a loss.

I'm using 4.11 and trying to make a good backup before upgrading to 
5.4.  Can anyone tell me the secret incantation to make this work?



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