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Tar is used to archive files and/or directories to a single file, or to a magnetic tape. The two most useful tar modes are create and extract, denoted by a "c" and an "x" option respectively. The "f" option is used to specify the filename or tape device where the tar file will be saved. For example, if you have a directory, Mail, and you would like to archive this directory using the filename, mail1.tar, you would use the following command.

tar cf mail1.tar Mail

If you ever want to unarchive the tar file, mail1.tar, you could use the following command. Remember, untaring this file will recreate the Mail directory, destroying any existing directory named Mail.

tar xf mail1.tar

For more information take a look at Section See section Backing Up Files On Tape

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