The command:

tar c DIR | compress >DIR.tar.Z

which works on a Debian-based Linux, fails on SunOS.


  • What is the default place for the output on SunOs? It it to tape or to stdout? – Hennes Mar 3 '15 at 17:57
  • 6
    When asking about a command that failed, you need to explain exactly how it failed. Was there an error message? What was it? Was an empty file created? A file with the wrong data? Did your computer explode? Please edit your question and clarify. – terdon Mar 3 '15 at 18:02

Traditionally, tar tries to write to a tape device (/dev/rmt0 or such) if an output file isn't specified.

Default-stdout is a GNU tar change, but SunOS is not Linux and usually does not use GNU userspace; it's a bit more… traditional. Thus you need tar cf - DIR instead.


Maybe the compress command is not installed on the SunOS System.

I used the following command to zip files from SunOS:

tar cf - | gzip >myzip.zip

Because, systems may both be unixoid but linux is not SunOS is not HP-UX - although all have tar commands.

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