If I am trying to archive files in loop using tar command with --remove-files option. If some exception occurs in mid of execution, will the --remove-files option delete the current operating file or retain the original file ?

while read file; 
    tar -uf test.tar.gz --remove-files "$file"              

1 Answer 1


As far as my experiments go (and somehow as I expected):

  • the source file is removed only if the command completes normally
  • however, "-u" doesn't remove the previous version of the file, it merely adds it to the end, so repeated updates with the same file will make the TAR file grow indefinitely.
  • I want to know status of source file which will be added in tar file.It will be deleted/retained ? if exception occurs in archiving the file.
    – Tejas
    Jun 16, 2016 at 13:23
  • As I said the source file is retained if anything bad happens.
    – xenoid
    Jun 16, 2016 at 14:05

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