man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: July 2014

smbtar (1)


smbtar - shell script for backing up SMB/CIFS shares directly to UNIX tape drives


smbtar [-r] [-i] [-a] [-v] {-s server} [-p password]
[-x services] [-X] [-N filename] [-b blocksize]
[-d directory] [-l loglevel] [-u user] [-t tape]


User Commands                                           SMBTAR(1)

     smbtar - shell script for backing up SMB/CIFS shares
     directly to UNIX tape drives

     smbtar [-r] [-i] [-a] [-v] {-s server} [-p password]
      [-x services] [-X] [-N filename] [-b blocksize]
      [-d directory] [-l loglevel] [-u user] [-t tape]

     This tool is part of the samba(7) suite.

     smbtar is a very small shell script on top of smbclient(1)
     which dumps SMB shares directly to tape.

     -s server
         The SMB/CIFS server that the share resides upon.

     -x service
         The share name on the server to connect to. The default
         is "backup".

         Exclude mode. Exclude filenames... from tar create or

     -d directory
         Change to initial directory before restoring / backing
         up files.

         Verbose mode.

     -p password
         The password to use to access a share. Default: none

     -u user
         The user id to connect as. Default: UNIX login name.

         Reset DOS archive bit mode to indicate file has been

     -t tape
         Tape device. May be regular file or tape device.
         Default: $TAPE environmental variable; if not set, a
         file called tar.out.

     -b blocksize
         Blocking factor. Defaults to 20. See tar(1) for a fuller

Samba 3.6            Last change: 09/18/2013                    1

User Commands                                           SMBTAR(1)


     -N filename
         Backup only files newer than filename. Could be used
         (for example) on a log file to implement incremental

         Incremental mode; tar files are only backed up if they
         have the archive bit set. The archive bit is reset after
         each file is read.

         Restore. Files are restored to the share from the tar

     -l log level
         Log (debug) level. Corresponds to the -d flag of

     The $TAPE variable specifies the default tape device to
     write to. May be overridden with the -t option.

     The smbtar script has different options from ordinary tar
     and from smbclient's tar command.

     Sites that are more careful about security may not like the
     way the script handles PC passwords. Backup and restore work
     on entire shares; should work on file lists. smbtar works
     best with GNU tar and may not work well with other versions.

     See the DIAGNOSTICS section for the smbclient(1) command.

     This man page is correct for version 3 of the Samba suite.

     See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following

     |Availability   | service/network/samba |
     |Stability      | Volatile              |

Samba 3.6            Last change: 09/18/2013                    2

User Commands                                           SMBTAR(1)

     smbd(8), smbclient(1), smb.conf(5).

     The original Samba software and related utilities were
     created by Andrew Tridgell. Samba is now developed by the
     Samba Team as an Open Source project similar to the way the
     Linux kernel is developed.

     Ricky Poulten wrote the tar extension and this man page. The
     smbtar script was heavily rewritten and improved by Martin
     Kraemer. Many thanks to everyone who suggested extensions,
     improvements, bug fixes, etc. The man page sources were
     converted to YODL format (another excellent piece of Open
     Source software, available at and updated for the Samba
     2.0 release by Jeremy Allison. The conversion to DocBook for
     Samba 2.2 was done by Gerald Carter. The conversion to
     DocBook XML 4.2 for Samba 3.0 was done by Alexander Bokovoy.

     This software was built from source available at  The original
     community source was downloaded from

     Further information about this software can be found on the
     open source community website at

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