Extract files from or list the contents of a tar archive.
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The pathname of the tar file: tilde expansion (see
A character vector of recorded filepaths to be extracted: the default is to extract all files.
The directory to extract files to (the equivalent of
logical or character string. Values
logical: if true echo the command used.
logical. If true (default) restore file modification times. If false, the equivalent of the -m flag. Times in tarballs are supposed to be in UTC, but tarballs have been submitted to CRAN with times in the future or far past: this argument allows such times to be discarded.
Note that file times in a tarball are stored with a resolution of 1 second, and can only be restored to the resolution supported by the file system (which on a FAT system is 2 seconds).
character string: the path to the command to be used. If
the command itself contains spaces it needs to be quoted – but
This is either a wrapper for a
tar command or for an
internal implementation written in R. The latter is used if
tarfile is a connection or if the argument
"" (except on Windows, when
tar.exe is tried first).
What options are supported will depend on the
Modern GNU flavours of
tar will support compressed archives,
and since 1.15 are able to detect the type of compression
automatically: version 1.20 added support for
version 1.22 for
xz compression using LZMA2. macOS 10.6 and
later (and FreeBSD and some other OSes) have a
bsdtar) from the libarchive project which
can also detect
automatically. For other flavours of
variable R_GZIPCMD gives the command to decompress
compress files, and
verbose are only
used when an external
tar is used.
The internal implementation restores symbolic links as links on a
Unix-alike, and as file copies on Windows (which works only for
existing files, not for directories), and hard links as links. If the
linking operation fails (as it may on a FAT file system), a file copy
is tried. Since it uses
gzfile to read a file it can
handle files compressed by any of the methods that function can
handle: at least
xz compression, and some types of
compression. It does not guard against restoring absolute file paths,
tar implementations do. It will create the parent
directories for directories or files in the archive if necessary. It
handles the standard (USTAR/POSIX), GNU and
pax ways of
handling file paths of more than 100 bytes, and the GNU way of
handling link targets of more than 100 bytes.
You may see warnings from the internal implementation such as
unsupported entry type 'x'
This often indicates an invalid archive: entry types
allowed as extensions, but other types are reserved. The only thing
you can do with such an archive is to find a
tar program that
handles it, and look carefully at the resulting files. There may also
be the warning
using pax extended headers
This is indicates that additional information may have been discarded, such as ACLs, encodings ....
The standards only support ASCII filenames (indeed, only alphanumeric
plus period, underscore and hyphen).
untar makes no attempt to
map filenames to those acceptable on the current system, and treats
the filenames in the archive as applicable without any re-encoding in
the current locale.
The internal implementation does not special-case ‘resource
forks’ in macOS: that system's
tar command does. This may
lead to unexpected files with names with prefix ‘._’.
list = TRUE, a character vector of (relative or absolute)
paths of files contained in the tar archive.
Otherwise the return code from
system with an external
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