What is the correct way to use the --remove-files option when using tar?

Is it...

tar -cfvj --remove-files archive.tar.bz2 archive/


tar -cfvj archive.tar.bz2 archive/ --remove-files

Since the -f argument is telling tar you are going to speficy the file name of the archive you are acting on, I would keep the archive name right after that argument. The list of files and directories to include in the archive should come last. You can specify --remove-files before your other arguments like this:

tar --remove-files -cvfj archive.tar.bz2 archive/
  • problem with this option for me is that then I no longer get tab completion working on the files part – iss42 Sep 23 '16 at 11:37
  • 1
    @iss42 That is a function of your shell's autocompletion patterns not being as smart as they should be, not of incorrect tar usage. You can fix that problem separately. – Caleb Sep 23 '16 at 12:06
  • @Caleb interesting! Think the one I was using in this case was default Ubuntu setup, can you point me to more info on this? – iss42 Sep 24 '16 at 13:17
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    @iss42 The thing to do is ask a question about how to fix that completion on Unix & Linux and link back to it here. – Caleb Sep 24 '16 at 13:38

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