pax(1) User Commands pax(1)
pax - portable archive interchange
pax [-cdnv] [-H | -L] [-f archive] [-o options]... [-s replstr]... [pattern...]
pax -r [-cdiknuv] [-H | -L] [-f archive] [-o options]... [-p string]... [-s replstr]... [pattern...]
pax -w [-dituvX@] [-H | -L] [-b blocksize] [-a] [-f archive] [-o options]... [-s replstr]... [-x format] [file...]
pax -r -w [-diklntuvX@] [-H | -L] [-o options]... [-p string]... [-s replstr]... [file...] directory
The pax utility reads, writes, and writes lists of the members of archive files and copies directory hierarchies. A variety of archive for-
mats are supported. See the -x format option.
Modes of Operations
The action to be taken depends on the presence of the -r and -w options. The four combinations of -r and -w are referred to as the four
modes of operation: list, read, write, and copy modes, corresponding respectively to the four forms shown in the SYNOPSIS.
list In list mode, that is, when neither -r nor -w are specified, pax writes the names of the members of the archive file read from the
standard input, with path names matching the specified patterns, to standard output. If a named file has extended attributes, the
extended attributes are also listed. If a named file is of type directory, the file hierarchy rooted at that file is listed as
read In read mode, that is, when -r is specified, but -w is not, pax extracts the members of the archive file read from the standard
input, with path names matching the specified patterns. If an extracted file is of type directory, the file hierarchy rooted at
that file is extracted as well. The extracted files are created performing path name resolution with the directory in which pax
was invoked as the current working directory.
If an attempt is made to extract a directory when the directory already exists, this is not considered an error. If an attempt is
made to extract a FIFO when the FIFO already exists, this is not considered an error.
The ownership, access and modification times, and file mode of the restored files are discussed under the -p option.
write In write mode, that is, when -w is specified, but -r is not, pax writes the contents of the file operands to the standard output
in an archive format. If no file operands are specified, a list of files to copy, one per line, are read from the standard input.
A file of type directory includes all of the files in the file hierarchy rooted at the file.
copy In copy mode, that is, when both -r and -w are specified, pax copies the file operands to the destination directory.
If no file operands are specified, a list of files to copy, one per line, are read from the standard input. A file of type direc-
tory includes all of the files in the file hierarchy rooted at the file.
The effect of the copy is as if the copied files were written to an archive file and then subsequently extracted, except that
there can be hard links between the original and the copied files. If the destination directory is a subdirectory of one of the
files to be copied, the results are unspecified. It is an error if directory does not exist, is not writable by the user, or is
not a directory.
In read or copy modes, if intermediate directories are necessary to extract an archive member, pax performs actions equivalent to the
mkdir(2) function, called with the following arguments:
o The intermediate directory used as the path argument.
o The octal value of 777 or rwx (read, write, and execute permissions) as the mode argument (see chmod(1)).
If any specified pattern or file operands are not matched by at least one file or archive member, pax writes a diagnostic message to stan-
dard error for each one that did not match and exits with a non-zero exit status.
The supported archive formats are automatically detected on input. The default output archive format is tar(1).
A single archive can span multiple files. The pax utility determines what file to read or write as the next file.
If the selected archive format supports the specification of linked files, it is an error if these files cannot be linked when the archive
is extracted, except if the files to be linked are symbolic links and the system is not capable of making hard links to symbolic links. In
that case, separate copies of the symbolic link are created instead. Any of the various names in the archive that represent a file can be
used to select the file for extraction. For archive formats that do not store file contents with each name that causes a hard link, if the
file that contains the data is not extracted during this pax session, either the data is restored from the original file, or a diagnostic
message is displayed with the name of a file that can be used to extract the data. In traversing directories, pax detects infinite loops,
that is, entering a previously visited directory that is an ancestor of the last file visited. When it detects an infinite loop, pax writes
a diagnostic message to standard error and terminates.
The following options are supported:
-a Appends files to the end of the archive. This option does not work for some archive devices, such as 1/4-inch streaming
tapes and 8mm tapes.
-b blocksize Blocks the output at a positive decimal integer number of bytes per write to the archive file. Devices and archive formats
can impose restrictions on blocking. Blocking is automatically determined on input. Portable applications must not specify
a blocksize value larger than 32256. Default blocking when creating archives depends on the archive format. See the -x
-c Matches all file or archive members except those specified by the pattern or file operands.
-d Causes files of type directory being copied or archived or archive members of type directory being extracted or listed to
match only the file or archive member itself and not the file hierarchy rooted at the file.
-f archive Specifies the path name of the input or output archive, overriding the default standard input (in list or read modes) or
standard output (write mode).
-H If a symbolic link referencing a file of type directory is specified on the command line, pax archives the file hierarchy
rooted in the file referenced by the link, using the name of the link as the root of the file hierarchy. Otherwise, if a
symbolic link referencing a file of any other file type which pax can normally archive is specified on the command line,
then pax archives the file referenced by the link, using the name of the link. The default behavior is to archive the sym-
bolic link itself.
-i Interactively renames files or archive members. For each archive member matching a pattern operand or file matching a file
operand, a prompt is written to the file /dev/tty. The prompt contains the name of the file or archive member. A line is
then read from /dev/tty. If this line is blank, the file or archive member is skipped. If this line consists of a single
period, the file or archive member is processed with no modification to its name. Otherwise, its name is replaced with the
contents of the line. pax immediately exits with a non-zero exit status if end-of-file is encountered when reading a
response or if /dev/tty cannot be opened for reading and writing.
The results of extracting a hard link to a file that has been renamed during extraction are unspecified.
-k Prevents the overwriting of existing files.
-l Links files. In copy mode, hard links are made between the source and destination file hierarchies whenever possible. If
specified in conjunction with -H or -L, when a symbolic link is encountered, the hard link created in the destination file
hierarchy is to the file referenced by the symbolic link. If specified when neither -H nor -L is specified, when a symbolic
link is encountered, the implementation creates a hard link to the symbolic link in the source file hierarchy or copies the
symbolic link to the destination.
-L If a symbolic link referencing a file of type directory is specified on the command line or encountered during the traver-
sal of a file hierarchy, pax archives the file hierarchy rooted in the file referenced by the link, using the name of the
link as the root of the file hierarchy. Otherwise, if a symbolic link referencing a file of any other file type which pax
can normally archive is specified on the command line or encountered during the traversal of a file hierarchy, pax archives
the file referenced by the link, using the name of the link. The default behavior is to archive the symbolic link itself.
-n Selects the first archive member that matches each pattern operand. No more than one archive member is matched for each
pattern, although members of type directory still match the file hierarchy rooted at that file.
-o options Provides information to the implementation to modify the algorithm for extracting or writing files. The value of options
consists of one or more comma-separated keywords of the form:
Some keywords apply only to certain file formats, as indicated with each description. Use of keywords that are inapplicable
to the file format being processed produces undefined results.
Keywords in the options argument must be a string that would be a valid portable filename.
Keywords are not expected to be filenames, merely to follow the same character composition rules as portable filenames.
Keywords can be preceded with white space. The value field consists of zero or more characters. Within value, the applica-
tion precedes any literal comma with a backslash, which is ignored, but preserves the comma as part of value. A comma as
the final character, or a comma followed solely by white space as the final characters, in options is ignored. Multiple -o
options can be specified. If keywords given to these multiple -o options conflict, the keywords and values appearing later
in command line sequence take precedence and the earlier ones are silently ignored. The following keyword values of options
are supported for the file formats as indicated:
This keyword is applicable only to the -x pax format. When used in write or copy mode, pax omits from extended header
records that it produces any keywords matching the string pattern. When used in read or list mode, pax ignores any key-
words matching the string pattern in the extended header records. In both cases, matching is performed using the pat-
tern matching notation. For example:
would suppress security-related information.
When multiple -o delete=pattern options are specified, the patterns are additive. All keywords matching the specified
string patterns are omitted from extended header records that pax produces.
This keyword is applicable only to the -x pax format. This keyword allows user control over the name that is written
into the ustar header blocks for the extended header. The name is the contents of string, after the following character
substitutions have been made:
%d The directory name of the file, equivalent to the result of the dirname utility on the translated path name.
%f The filename of the file, equivalent to the result of the basename utility on the translated path name.
%p The process ID of the pax process.
%% A '%' character.
Any other '%' characters in string produce undefined results.
If no -o exthdr.name=string is specified, pax uses the following default value:
This keyword is applicable only to the -x pax format. When used in write or copy mode with the appropriate options, pax
creates global extended header records with ustar header blocks that are treated as regular files by previous versions
of pax. This keyword allows user control over the name that is written into the ustar header blocks for global extended
header records. The name is the contents of string, after the following character substitutions have been made:
%n An integer that represents the sequence number of the global extended header record in the archive, starting
%p The process ID of the pax process.
%% A '%' character.
Any other '%' characters in string produce undefined results.
If no -o globexthdr.name=string is specified, pax uses the following default value:
where $TMPDIR represents the value of the TMPDIR environment variable. If TMPDIR is not set, pax uses /tmp.
This keyword is applicable only to the -x pax format. This keyword allows user control over the action pax takes upon
encountering values in an extended header record that, in read or copy mode, are invalid in the destination hierarchy
or, in list mode , cannot be written in the codeset and current locale of the implementation. The following are invalid
values that are recognized by pax:
In read or copy mode, a filename or link name that contains character encodings invalid in the destination hierar-
chy. For example, the name can contain embedded NULs.
o In read or copy mode, a filename or link name that is longer than the maximum allowed in the destination hierar-
chy, for either a path name component or the entire path name.
o In list mode, any character string value (filename, link name, user name, and so on) that cannot be written in the
codeset and current locale of the implementation.
The following mutually-exclusive values of the action argument are supported:
bypass In read or copy mode, pax bypasses the file, causing no change to the destination hierarchy. In list mode, pax
writes all requested valid values for the file, but its method for writing invalid values is unspecified.
rename In read or copy mode, pax acts as if the -i option were in effect for each file with invalid filename or link
name values, allowing the user to provide a replacement name interactively. In list mode, pax behaves identi-
cally to the bypass action.
UTF-8 pax uses the actual UTF-8 encoding for the name when it is used in read, copy, or list mode and a filename,
link name, owner name, or any other field in an extended header record cannot be translated from the pax UTF-8
codeset format to the codeset and current locale of the implementation.
write In read or copy mode, pax writes the file, translating the name, regardless of whether this can overwrite an
existing file with a valid name. In list mode, pax behaves identically to the bypass action.
If no -o invalid= option is specified, pax acts as if -o invalid=bypass were specified. Any overwriting of existing
files that can be allowed by the -o invalid= actions are subject to permission (-p) and modification time (-u) restric-
tions, and are suppressed if the -k option is also specified.
This keyword is applicable only to the -x pax format. In write mode, pax writes the contents of a file to the archive
even when that file is merely a hard link to a file whose contents have already been written to the archive.
This keyword specifies the output format of the table of contents produced when the -v option is specified in list
mode. (See List Mode Format Specifications below.) To avoid ambiguity, the listopt=format is the only or final key-
word=value pair in an -o option-argument. All characters in the remainder of the option-argument are considered to be
part of the format string. When multiple -o listopt=format options are specified, the format strings are considered to
be a single, concatenated string, evaluated in command line order.
This keyword is applicable only to the -x pax and -x xustar formats. When used in write or copy mode, pax includes
atime and mtime extended header records for each file.
In addition to these keywords, if the -x pax format is specified, any of the keywords and values, including implementation
extensions, can be used in -o option-arguments, in either of two modes:
keyword=value When used in write or copy mode, these keyword/value pairs are included at the beginning of the archive as
typeflag g global extended header records. When used in read or list mode, these keyword/value pairs act
as if they had been at the beginning of the archive as typeflag g global extended header records.
keyword:=value When used in write or copy mode, these keyword/value pairs are included as records at the beginning of a
typeflag x extended header for each file. This is equivalent to the equal-sign form except that it creates
no typeflag g global extended header records. When used in read or list mode, these keyword/value pairs act
as if they were included as records at the end of each extended header. Thus, they override any global or
file-specific extended header record keywords of the same names. For example, in the command:
pax -r -o "
the group name is forced to a new value for all files read from the archive.
-p string Specifies one or more file characteristic options (privileges). The string option-argument must be a string specifying file
characteristics to be retained or discarded on extraction. The string consists of the specification characters a, e, m, o,
and p. Multiple characteristics can be concatenated within the same string and multiple -p options can be specified. The
meaning of the specification characters is as follows:
a Does not preserve file access times.
e Preserves the user ID, group ID, file mode bits, access time, and modification time.
m Does not preserve file modification times.
o Preserves the user ID and group ID.
p Preserves the file mode bits.
In the preceding list, ``preserve'' indicates that an attribute stored in the archive is given to the extracted file, sub-
ject to the permissions of the invoking process. Otherwise, the attribute is determined as part of the normal file creation
action. The access and modification times of the file is preserved unless otherwise specified with the -p option or not
stored in the archive. All attributes that are not preserved are determined as part of the normal file creation action.
If neither the e nor the o specification character is specified, or the user ID and group ID are not preserved for any rea-
son, pax does not set the setuid and setgid bits of the file mode.
If the preservation of any of these items fails for any reason, pax writes a diagnostic message to standard error. Failure
to preserve these items affects the final exit status, but does not cause the extracted file to be deleted.
If file-characteristic letters in any of the string option-arguments are duplicated or conflict with each other, the ones
given last take precedence. For example, if -p eme is specified, file modification times are preserved.
-r Reads an archive file from standard input.
-s replstr Modifies file or archive member names named by pattern or file operands according to the substitution expression replstr,
which is based on the ed(1) s (substitution) utility, using the regular expression syntax on the regex(5) manual page. The
concepts of ``address'' and ``line'' are meaningless in the context of the pax command, and must not be supplied. The for-
-s /old/new/ [gp]
where, as in ed, old is a basic regular expression and new can contain an ampersand (&), a
backreference, where n is a
digit, or subexpression matching. The old string is also permitted to contain newlines.
Any non-null character can be used as a delimiter (/ shown here). Multiple -s expressions can be specified. The expressions
are applied in the order specified, terminating with the first successful substitution. The optional trailing g is as
defined in the ed command. The optional trailing p causes successful substitutions to be written to standard error. File or
archive member names that substitute to the empty string are ignored when reading and writing archives.
-t When reading files from the file system, and if the user has the permissions required by utime() to do so, sets the access
time of each file read to the access time that it had before being read by pax.
-u Ignores files that are older (having a less recent file modification time) than a pre-existing file or archive member with
the same name.
read mode An archive member with the same name as a file in the file system is extracted if the archive member is
newer than the file.
write mode An archive file member with the same name as a file in the file system is superseded if the file is newer
than the archive member. If option -a is also specified, this is accomplished by appending to the archive.
Otherwise, it is unspecified whether this is accomplished by actual replacement in the archive or by
appending to the archive.
copy mode The file in the destination hierarchy is replaced by the file in the source hierarchy or by a link to the
file in the source hierarchy if the file in the source hierarchy is newer.
-v In list mode, produces a verbose table of contents (see Standard Output). Otherwise, writes archive member path names and
extended attributes to standard error (see Standard Error).
-w Writes files to the standard output in the specified archive format.
-x format Specifies the output archive format. The pax utility recognizes the following formats:
cpio The extended cpio(1) interchange format. See IEEE Std 1003.1-2001. The default blocksize for this format for char-
acter special archive files is 5120. Implementations support all blocksize values less than or equal to 32256 that
are multiples of 512.
This archive format allows files with UIDs and GIDs up to 262143 to be stored in the archive. Files with UIDs and
GIDs greater than this value are archived with the UID and GID of 60001.
pax The pax interchange format. See IEEE Std 1003.1-2001. The default blocksize for this format for character special
archive files is 5120. Implementations support all blocksize values less than or equal to 32256 that are multiples
Similar to ustar. Also allows archiving and extracting files whose size is greater than 8GB; whose UID, GID, dev-
major, or devminor values are greater than 2097151; whose path (including filename) is greater than 255 charac-
ters; or whose linkname is greater than 100 characters.
ustar The extended tar(1) interchange format. See the IEEE 1003.1(1990) specifications. The default blocksize for this
format for character special archive files is 10240. Implementations support all blocksize values less than or
equal to 32256 that are multiples of 512.
This archive format allows files with UIDs and GIDs up to 2097151 to be stored in the archive. Files with UIDs and
GIDs greater than this value are archived with the UID and GID of 60001.
xustar Similar to ustar. Also allows archiving and extracting files whose size is greater than 8GB; whose UID, GID, dev-
major, or devminor values are greater than 2097151; whose path (including filename) is greater than 255 charac-
ters; or whose linkname is greater than 100 characters. This option should not be used if the archive is to be
extracted by an archiver that cannot handle the larger values.
Any attempt to append to an archive file in a format different from the existing archive format causes pax to exit immedi-
ately with a non-zero exit status.
In copy mode, if no -x format is specified, pax behaves as if -x pax were specified.
-X When traversing the file hierarchy specified by a path name, pax does not descend into directories that have a different
device ID (st_dev, see stat(2)).
-@ When traversing the file hierarchy specified by a path name, pax descends into the attribute directory for any file with
extended attributes. Extended attributes go into the archive as special files. When this flag is used during file extrac-
tion, any extended attributes associated with a file being extracted are also extracted. Extended attribute files can only
be extracted from an archive as part of a normal file extract. Attempts to explicitly extract attribute records are
Specifying more than one of the mutually-exclusive options -H and -L is not considered an error. The last option specified determines the
behavior of the utility.
The options that operate on the names of files or archive members (-c, -i, -n, -s, -u and -v) interact as follows.
In read mode, the archive members are selected based on the user-specified pattern operands as modified by the -c, -n and -u options. Then,
any -s and -i options modify, in that order, the names of the selected files. The -v option writes names resulting from these modifica-
In write mode, the files are selected based on the user-specified path names as modified by the -n and -u options. Then, any -s and -i
options modify, in that order, the names of these selected files. The -v option writes names resulting from these modifications.
If both the -u and -n options are specified, pax does not consider a file selected unless it is newer than the file to which it is com-
List Mode Format Specifications
In list mode with the -o listopt=format option, the format argument is applied for each selected file. The pax utility appends a newline to
the listopt output for each selected file. The format argument is used as the format string with the following exceptions. (See printf(1)
for the first five exceptions.)
1. A SPACE character in the format string, in any context other than a flag of a conversion specification, is treated as an ordinary char-
acter that is copied to the output.
2. A ' ' character in the format string is treated as a ' ' character, not as a SPACE.
3. In addition to the escape sequences described in the formats(5) manual page (\, a, , f,
, , v), ddd, where ddd is a
one-, two-, or three-digit octal number, is written as a byte with the numeric value specified by the octal number.
4. Output from the d or u conversion specifiers is not preceded or followed with BLANKs not specified by the format operand.
5. Output from the o conversion specifier is not preceded with zeros that are not specified by the format operand.
6. The sequence (keyword) can occur before a format conversion specifier. The conversion argument is defined by the value of keyword. The
following keywords are supported (see IEEE Std 1003.1-2001):
o Any of the Field Name entries in ustar Header Block and Octet-Oriented cpio Archive Entry. The implementation supports the cpio
keywords without the leading c_ in addition to the form required by Values for cpio c_ mode Field.
o Any keyword defined for the extended header in pax Extended Header.
o Any keyword provided as an implementation-defined extension within the extended header defined in pax Extended Header.
For example, the sequence "%(charset)s" is the string value of the name of the character set in the extended header.
The result of the keyword conversion argument is the value from the applicable header field or extended header, without any trailing
All keyword values used as conversion arguments are translated from the UTF -8 encoding to the character set appropriate for the local
file system, user database, and so on, as applicable.
7. An additional conversion specifier character, T, is used to specify time formats. The T conversion specifier character can be preceded
by the sequence (keyword=subformat), where subformat is a date format as defined by date operands. The default keyword is mtime and the
default subformat is:
%b %e %H:%M %Y
8. An additional conversion specifier character, M, is used to specify the file mode string as defined in ls Standard Output. If (keyword)
is omitted, the mode keyword is used. For example, %.1M writes the single character corresponding to the entry type field of the ls -l
9. An additional conversion specifier character, D, is used to specify the device for block or special files, if applicable, in an imple-
mentation-defined format. If not applicable, and (keyword) is specified, then this conversion is equivalent to %(keyword)u. If not
applicable, and (keyword) is omitted, then this conversion is equivalent to SPACE.
10. An additional conversion specifier character, F, is used to specify a path name. The F conversion character can be preceded by a
sequence of comma-separated keywords:
(keyword[,keyword] ... )
The values for all the keywords that are non-null are concatenated, each separated by a '/'. The default is (path) if the keyword path
is defined. Otherwise, the default is (prefix,name).
11. An additional conversion specifier character, L, is used to specify a symbolic link expansion. If the current file is a symbolic link,
then %L expands to:
"%s -> %s", value of keyword, contents of link
Otherwise, the %L conversion specification is the equivalent of %F.
The following operands are supported:
directory The destination directory path name for copy mode.
file A path name of a file to be copied or archived.
pattern A pattern matching one or more path names of archive members. A pattern must conform to the pattern matching notation found
on the fnmatch(5) manual page. The default, if no pattern is specified, is to select all members in the archive.
Output formats are discussed below:
In write mode, if -f is not specified, the standard output is the archive formatted according to cpio or ustar. (See -x format.)
In list mode, when the -o listopt=format option has been specified, the selected archive members are written to standard output using the
format described above under List Mode Format Specifications. In list mode without the -o listopt=format option, the table of contents of
the selected archive members are written to standard output using the following format:
If the -v option is specified in list mode, the table of contents of the selected archive members are written to standard output using the
o For path names representing hard links to previous members of the archive:
"%s == %s
", <ls -l listing>, linkname
o For all other path names:
", <ls -l listing>
where <ls -l listing> is the format specified by the ls command with the -l option. When writing path names in this format, it is
unspecified what is written for fields for which the underlying archive format does not have the correct information, although the
correct number of blank-character-separated fields is written.
In list mode, standard output is not buffered more than a line at a time.
If -v is specified in read, write or copy modes, pax writes the path names it processes to the standard error output using the following
These path names are written as soon as processing is begun on the file or archive member, and are flushed to standard error. The trailing
newline character, which is not buffered, is written when the file has been read or written.
If the -s option is specified, and the replacement string has a trailing p, substitutions are written to standard error in the following
"%s >> %s
", <original pathname>, <new pathname>
In all operating modes of pax, optional messages of unspecified format concerning the input archive format and volume number, the number of
files, blocks, volumes, and media parts as well as other diagnostic messages can be written to standard error.
In all formats, for both standard output and standard error, it is unspecified how non-printable characters in path names or link names are
When pax is in read mode or list mode, using the -x pax archive format, and a file name, link name, owner name, or any other field in an
extended header record cannot be translated from the pax UTF-8 codeset format to the codeset and current locale of the implementation, pax
writes a diagnostic message to standard error, processes the file as described for the -o invalid=option, and then processes the next file
in the archive.
In read mode, the extracted output files are of the archived file type. In copy mode, the copied output files are the type of the file
being copied . In either mode, existing files in the destination hierarchy are overwritten only when all permission (-p), modification time
(-u), and invalid-value (-o invalid=) tests allow it. In write mode, the output file named by the -f option-argument is a file formatted
according to one of the specifications in IEEE Std 1003.1-2001.
If pax cannot create a file or a link when reading an archive, or cannot find a file when writing an archive, or cannot preserve the user
ID, group ID, or file mode when the -p option is specified, a diagnostic message is written to standard error and a non-zero exit status is
returned, but processing continues. In the case where pax cannot create a link to a file, pax does not, by default, create a second copy of
If the extraction of a file from an archive is prematurely terminated by a signal or error, pax can have only partially extracted the file
or, if the -n option was not specified, can have extracted a file of the same name as that specified by the user, but which is not the file
the user wanted. Additionally, the file modes of extracted directories can have additional bits from the read, write, execute mask set as
well as incorrect modification and access times.
The -p (privileges) option was invented to reconcile differences between historical tar(1) and cpio(1) implementations. In particular, the
two utilities use -m in diametrically opposed ways. The -p option also provides a consistent means of extending the ways in which future
file attributes can be addressed, such as for enhanced security systems or high-performance files. Although it can seem complex, there are
really two modes that are most commonly used:
-p e ``Preserve everything''. This would be used by the historical superuser, someone with all the appropriate privileges, to preserve
all aspects of the files as they are recorded in the archive. The e flag is the sum of o and p, and other implementation-dependent
-p p ``Preserve'' the file mode bits. This would be used by the user with regular privileges who wished to preserve aspects of the file
other than the ownership. The file times are preserved by default, but two other flags are offered to disable these and use the
time of extraction.
The one path name per line format of standard input precludes path names containing newlines. Although such path names violate the portable
filename guidelines, they can exist and their presence can inhibit usage of pax within shell scripts. This problem is inherited from his-
torical archive programs. The problem can be avoided by listing file name arguments on the command line instead of on standard input.
It is almost certain that appropriate privileges are required for pax to accomplish parts of this volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001. Specifi-
cally, creating files of type block special or character special, restoring file access times unless the files are owned by the user (the
-t option), or preserving file owner, group, and mode (the -p option) all probably require appropriate privileges.
In read mode, implementations are permitted to overwrite files when the archive has multiple members with the same name. This can fail if
permissions on the first version of the file do not permit it to be overwritten.
See largefile(5) for the description of the behavior of pax when encountering files greater than or equal to 2 Gbyte ( 2**31 bytes).
In write mode, the standard input is used only if no file operands are specified. It is a text file containing a list of path names, one
per line, without leading or trailing blanks. In list and read modes, if -f is not specified, the standard input is an archive file. Other-
wise, the standard input is not used.
The input file named by the archive option-argument, or standard input when the archive is read from there, is a file formatted according
to IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, pax Shell and Utilities. The file /dev/tty is used to write prompts and read responses.
Example 1: Copying the Contents of the Current Directory
The following command:
example% pax -w -f /dev/rmt/1m .
copies the contents of the current directory to tape drive 1, medium density. This assumes historical System V device naming procedures.
The historical BSD device name would be /dev/rmt9.
Example 2: Copying the Directory Hierarchy
The following commands:
example% mkdir newdir
example% pax -rw olddir newdir
copy the olddir directory hierarchy to newdir.
Example 3: Reading an Archive Extracted Relative to the Current Directory
The following command:
example% pax -r -s ',^//*usr//*,,' -f a.pax
reads the archive a.pax, with all files rooted in /usr in the archive extracted relative to the current directory.
Example 4: Overriding the Default Output Description
Using the option:
-o listopt="%M %(atime)T %(size)D %(name)s"
overrides the default output description in Standard Output and instead writes:
-rw-rw- - - Jan 12 15:53 2003 1492 /usr/foo/bar
Using the options:
-o listopt='%L %(size)D
overrides the default output description in standard output and instead writes:
usr/foo/bar -> /tmp 1492
Jan 12 15:53 1991
Jan 31 15:53 2003
See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment variables that affect the execution of pax: LANG, LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, LC_MES-
SAGES, LC_TIME, and NLSPATH.
LC_COLLATE Determine the locale for the behaviour of ranges, equivalence classes, and multi-character collating elements used in the
pattern matching expressions for the pattern operand, the basic regular expression for the -s option, and the extended reg-
ular expression defined for the yesexpr locale keyword in the LC_MESSAGES category.
TMPDIR Determine the path name that provides part of the default global extended header record file, as described for the -o
globexthdr= keyword as described in the OPTIONS section.
TZ Determine the timezone used to calculate date and time strings when the -v option is specified. If TZ is unset or null, an
unspecified default timezone is used.
The following exit values are returned:
0 All files were processed successfully.
>0 An error occurred.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
|Availability |SUNWcsu |
|Interface Stability |Standard |
chmod(1), cpio(1), ed(1), printf(1), tar(1), mkdir(2), stat(2), attributes(5), environ(5), fnmatch(5), formats(5)fsattr(5), largefile(5),
SunOS 5.10 25 Oct 2004 pax(1)