I'm extracting a tar archive with tar -xf /tmp/update.tar -C / -v --keep-newer-files. The -v Option is to display all files processed, the --keep-newer-files Option is self explaining.

Due to all files already exist I get the following output:

tar: Current ‘usr/local/bin/execstate.log’ is newer or same age
tar: Current ‘usr/local/bin/dblist.sh’ is newer or same age
tar: Current ‘usr/local/bin/dbblacklist.sh’ is newer or same age

I know, that the --warning-no-ignore-newer Option switches the warning of, but then the output is:


But none of these files will be extracted!

I just want to display the files which are extracted (if they do not already exist)!


This can be done using star:

star -C / -xv -nowarn < /tmp/update.tar

It seems that gtar did not fully copy the features from star ;-)

OSS friendly Linux distros have star binary packages, for other distros, compile it after fetching a recent schilytools source archive from http://sourceforge.net/projects/schilytools/files/

The current star release is 1.6.1. Note that the option -nowarn and the default to only extract files that are newer in the archive is from 1985, which is long before gtar started.

Note that since Linux implements slow filesystems, it is recommended to check the star man page for the option -no-fsync. This allows you to switch star into a mode that is as insecure as you are used with gtar.

  • I'm afraid there is no star or gtar package for Raspbian Buster, at least i did not find it... – WBK Nov 20 '19 at 15:43
  • Linux usually does not come with a real tar program but rather with gtar installed as tar. If you have a OSS friendly Linux distro, you of course get a star binary package. On other platforms, you may need to compile it yourself. See edited answer. On a RASPI, the compilation of the schilytools sources takes one hour. – schily Nov 20 '19 at 16:18
  • @WBK have you been successfull? – schily Nov 21 '19 at 10:43
  • Thanks a lot for the suggestion, but the effort of compiling is too high for me. After all, it is just an output on the screen... – WBK Nov 21 '19 at 12:04
  • @WBK schilytools is not as hard to compile as other software, since there is a modern build system in use. You just unpack the archive and call make at top directory level inside the unpacked tree. Call make .help for more targets. Since I do not trust gtar compiling and installing star is the first thing, I do on a new machine. – schily Nov 21 '19 at 12:09

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