This site pretty much sums it up really well:

Note that tar has the ability to use -a or autocompress. In some versions of bsdtar you also get -a. -a will guess the archive type of that file by the extension. As long as you use well known one such as: filename.tbz2, filename.tar.bz2, filename.tlz, filename.tar.lz, filename.tgz, filename.tar.gz,  etc…

When thinking of how to use bsdtar syntax vs tar syntax, just know bsdtar is more versatile, therefore it will work just like tar worked for you.

Creating TARS

Extracting TARS



Why would anyone use sparse files? They are kind of like “thin” images. “thin” luns of a file based iscsi target system could be made of sparse files.

The question is how do you copy a sparse file and keep all of its properties.

To find out everything on sparse files, just read this wiki really quick:

Sparse files can be handled well with BSDTAR, CP but dont use RSYNC or regular TAR (gnutar)

To CP a Sparse file:

To Archive a file use BSDTAR:

To zip it up:

To extract it:

NOTE: I know I said not use “tar” and “rsync” – however – you can use “tar” and “rsync” using thier –sparse or -S options to use the sparse feature.

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