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Removing Archive Members

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You can use the `--delete' option to remove members from an archive. Name the members on the command line to be deleted. This option will rewrite the archive; because of this, it does not work on tape drives. If you list no members to be deleted, nothing happens.

To delete archive members from an archive, use `--delete'. You must specify the file names of the members to be deleted. All archive members with the specified file names will be removed from the archive.

The following example removes the file `curley' from the archive `stooges':

tar --delete --file=stooges curley

You can only use `--delete' on an archive if the archive device allows you to write to any point on the media.

Warning: Don't try to delete an archive member from a magnetic tape, lest you scramble the archive. There is no safe way (except by completely re-writing the archive) to delete files from most kinds of magnetic tape.

FIXME: how about automatic detection of archive media?  give error
FIXME: unless the archive device is either an ordinary file or different
FIXME: input and output (--file=-).

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