System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems

ProcedureHow to Retrieve All Files From a Tape (cpio)

If the archive was created using relative path names, the input files are built as a directory within the current directory when you retrieve the files. If, however, the archive was created with absolute path names, the same absolute paths are used to re-create the file on your system.

Caution – Caution –

The use of absolute path names can be dangerous because you might overwrite existing files on your system.

  1. Change to the directory where you want to put the files.

  2. Insert the tape into the tape drive.

  3. Extract all files from the tape.

    $ cpio -icvd < /dev/rmt/n

    Extracts files from standard input.


    Specifies that the cpio command should read files in ASCII character format.


    Displays the files as they are retrieved in a format that is similar to the output from the ls command.


    Creates directories as needed.

    < /dev/rmt/n

    Specifies the output file.

  4. Verify that the files were copied.

    $ ls -l

Example 28–10 Retrieving All Files From a Tape (cpio)

The following example shows how to retrieve all files from the tape in drive 0.

$ cd /var/tmp
cpio -icvd < /dev/rmt/0
8 blocks
$ ls -l