Copying one's home directory to an external hard disk

Mikkel L. Ellertson mikkel at
Thu Nov 29 20:23:04 UTC 2007

Robin Laing wrote:
> I will vote against tar.
> I used it for a backup some time ago and just this past weekend, I had
> to recover 4 files.  Due to the size of the tar file, it took ages.  I
> am talking hours.
> With the cost of drives today, I would just use cp -a.  I have not used
> rsync so I cannot comment on that.
For copying things like your home directory to another drive, tar
works fairly well - you do not save it to a file. Instead you pipe
the output of one tar command to a second one.

tar cvf - --directory=<source> . | tar xvf - --directory=<destination>

But other methods also work. I like using rsync myself.


  Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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