Tar hints for Mac OS X users

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Special information for using tar on Mac OS X

You've probably found this page because you created a tar file on your Mac machine, and it contained extra files.

Creating a tar file without ._ files

On Mac OS X, sometimes the operating system creates hidden files whose names start with a period and an underscore. For example, if you have these files:

  • Makefile
  • ghello.c

Mac OS will create extra files alongside them in the same directory named:

  • ._Makefile
  • ._ghello.c

Because they start with dot, many tools hide them by default. You can see them by typing this in the terminal:

ls -a

(the hyphen-a stands for "all")

The simplest way to create a tar file without these files is to ask tar to exclude them when creating the tar file. So if you would have run this command:

tar zcvf myproject-0.1.tar.gz myproject-0.1/ 

instead you would run:

tar --exclude='._*' zcvf myproject-0.1.tar.gz myproject-0.1/

Because you pass the v flag to tar, causing it to operate in verbose mode, you can see which files will be added to the resulting tarball.

References