STScI Logo

wtar softools



wtar -- write TAR format archive file


wtar [-flags] [-f archive] [files]


Print debug messages.
Omit binary files.
Print the name of each file as it is written or omitted.
Verbose mode; print more information about each file.
-f archive
The tar format file to be written, i.e., "stdout", a host magtape device name (e.g., "/dev/nrmt8" or "MSA0"), or the IRAF virtual filename of a disk file. The default is the standard output.
The names of the files or root directories of directory trees to be written to the archive file. If no files are specified "." (the directory tree rooted at the current directory) is assumed.


The named files and directories are written to the indicated UNIX "tar" format output file. Any directories in the file list are recursively descended. The named directories should be subdirectories of the current directory when wtar is called. Binary files may be omitted if desired, e.g., when transporting software to a different host, or when making a backup of a large system which would otherwise exceed the capacity of a single reel of tape. All file, directory, and magtape names conform to the IRAF standard.

The output file is normally either a disk file (e.g., if the transport medium is an electronic network), or a magtape file. If the output file is a magtape multiple files, i.e., wtar archives, may be written on the tape. The blocking factor is fixed at 10240 bytes per record.

The TAR format file written by wtar conforms to the UNIX standard except that [1] no link information is preserved, [2] the user and group numbers may not be preserved (they are preserved in the UNIX version of wtar ), and [3] some versions of wtar (e.g., VMS) pad text files at the end with extra blank lines.

All wtar filename arguments are IRAF virtual filenames (or host filenames). Magtape devices should be specified by their host (not IRAF) device name, e.g., "/dev/nrmt8" or "MSA0".


1. Make a source-only archive of the IRAF system on the UNIX device /dev/nrmt8.

	cl> cd iraf
	cl> wtar -of /dev/nrmt8

2. Archive the "uparm" directory to the VMS logical device MSA0:.

cl> wtar -f msa0 uparm

3. Make a disk archive of the LIB and PKG directory trees in your home directory.

cl> wtar -f home$archive.tar lib pkg

4. Examine the resultant file to make sure everything worked correctly.

cl> rtar -tvf home$archive.tar

5. Make a disk archive, using a host filename for the output file.

cl> wtar -f /tmp2/arc lib pkg sys

IRAF magtape commands such as rewind may be used with wtar , but switching between IRAF and host device names can be confusing.


rtar, rmbin

Search Form · STSDAS