|The Unix and Internet Fundamentals HOWTO, by Eric Raymond|
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tar: Tutorial Introduction
GNU tar creates and manipulates archives which are actually collections of many other files; the program provides users with an organized and systematic method for controlling a large amount of data. The name "tar" originally came from the phrase "Tape ARchive", but archives need not (and these days, typically do not) reside on tapes. Because the archive created by tar is capable of preserving file information and directory structure, tar is commonly used for performing full and incremental backups of disks.
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