I want to backup my root dir with Tar but getting this error:

beende mit fehlerstatus aufgrund vorheriger fehler

In English:

Exiting with failure status due to previous errors

Here is my code:

DATE=$(date +%Y-%m-%d-%H%M%S)
tar -vzcpf $BACKUP_DIR/backup-$DATE.tar.gz $SOURCE $EXCLUDE

What is the error here?

  • 2
    Your --exclude option might be being ignored (and parsed as a path) because it follows the source. You should move it to before the other options, i.e. tar $EXCLUDE -vzcpf ....
    – Flup
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 12:50
  • I have it with tar EXCLUDE... but no change. But I get the same error!
    – fteinz
    Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 14:13
  • 5
    What other error messages is tar displaying? You may need to exclude some pseudo-filesystems such as /sys, /proc, and /dev. Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 16:16
  • The answer depends on what the full output on stdout and stderr is.
    – Alexander
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


The error means that tar is unable to add some files to the tarball.

In fact you are backing up everything from / which is certain to result to an error.

Try to replace the EXCLUDE variable with this:

EXCLUDE="--exclude=dev --exclude=mnt --exclude=proc --exclude=run --exclude=sys --exclude=tmp"

and omit the -v flag so you can reduce the amount of output messages and pinpoint the error.

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