Subject: Re: ftp and tar annoyances
To: Bill Studenmund <>
From: Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear <>
List: current-users
Date: 11/14/1997 05:37:29
Bill Studenmund sez:
 * On Thu, 13 Nov 1997, Brad Salai wrote:
 * > There is a thing about tar that makes it slightly harder to use than it
 * > might otherwise be.
 * > 
 * > You have to get the options in the right order,
 * > 
 * > tar -zxvpf bin.tar.gz   works, but
 * > 
 * > tar -zxvfp bin.tar.gz   doesn't
 * > 
 * > Once you know this, only the occasional tyop causes problems, but why does
 * > it have to be that way?
 * Because option f takes the file name AS THE NEXT ARGUMENT. Other than the
 * filename being after "f", you can re-arange the options in whatever order
 * you wish.
 * tar -xzvpf  == tar -zxvpf == tar -xvzpf

I think the telling point is that dash; most tars I've seen will take
the first arg as a bunch of keyletters telling what to do with the
rest of the args.  If you drop the dash, order is probably not important,
but with the dash there it probably runs getopt() or something (I'm only
half-awake and not inclined to UTSL to verify this at the moment.)

Please be quite.  No eating the lab.