Transfer large files/directories with no overhead over the network

ssh user@host "cd targetdir; tar cfp - *" | dd of=file.tar
This invokes tar on the remote machine and pipes the resulting tarfile over the network using ssh and is saved on the local machine. This is useful for making a one-off backup of a directory tree with zero storage overhead on the source. Variations on this include using compression on the source by using 'tar cfvp' or compression at the destination via ssh user@host "cd dir; tar cfp - *" | gzip - > file.tar.gz

By: bwoodacre
2009-03-18 07:43:22

What Others Think

the p switch to tar is not necessary in creation ("c") mode. Also, dd is not necessary, simply redirecting with "> file.tar" is enough.
cran · 699 weeks and 3 days ago
remember that * won't capture .dotfiles and .dotdirs/
linuxrawkstar · 699 weeks and 3 days ago
Why not gzip before downloading? ssh user@host 'cd dir; tar zcf - .' > file.tgz
isaacs · 698 weeks and 1 day ago
seofox · 38 weeks and 1 day ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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