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I currently do in a shellscript very inefficiently:

cp -a $MYPATH /tmp/$VERSION
cd /tmp
tar cjf archive.tar.bz2 $VERSION

I want everything to be contained in the directory called $VERSION - is there a way to do this without having to copy everything as in the above script?

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migrated from May 14 '13 at 17:17

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Why copying it in the first place? Why not tar cjf archive.tar.bz2 $MYPATH? – Chewie May 14 '13 at 12:37
@Chewie he said, he want the $version as parent dir in archive. – Kent May 14 '13 at 12:39
Oh, I see it now. – Chewie May 14 '13 at 12:45
up vote 16 down vote accepted

The GNU version of tar supports the --transform option (and its alias --xform), you could use it like this

tar --transform "s/^$MYPATH/$VERSION/" -cf archive.tar.bz2 "$MYPATH"

For example, given this directory tree

└── foo.txt

the command

tar --transform "s/^foo/bar/" -cf foo.tar.bz2 foo

will produce an archive like

$ tar -tf foo.tar.bz2
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Thanks, that does the job beautifully. – Robby75 May 15 '13 at 4:30

To tar the current directory and add a prefix, this worked for me:

tar --transform 's,^\.,$VERSION,' -cf foo.tar .
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If you can get away without preserving symbolic links within the file tree you're tarring, you could do

ln -s $MYPATH /tmp/$VERSION
cd /tmp
tar cjhf archive.tar.bz2 $VERSION

The h option means dereference symlinks, i.e. include the file or directory that the link points to rather than simply recording the fact that there was a symlink and what it pointed to.

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