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Does the following command if issued between two drives require that the current drive have enough space to accommodate everything being moved to the second drive?

    tar cvf - .* --exclude=\. --exclude=\.\. | (cd /dest/dir; tar xvf -)

My line of thinking is that the tar has to be created on drive A before being moved to drive B.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

No.

The tar "file" exists only in the pipeline; it's not written to disk in the intermediate stage, but only at the destination when you extracted it.

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