creating a tar file with python

J. Cliff Dyer jcd at
Fri Aug 24 15:31:39 CEST 2007

Brian McCann wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm trying to create a tar file of the contents of the current directory
> right now there is only one file "text.xml" in the current dir,  I'm 
> using"." current dir as source
> but that gives syntax error
> any help would be greatly appreciated
> --Brian
> #!/usr/bin/python
> import string
> import os
> import sys
> import time
> import errno
> import shutil
> import tarfile
> tar =,"test.tar.gz", "w:gz)
Over the course of this thread, I found the following variations on one 
line of code.

Original problem code:   tar =,"test.tar.gz", "w:gz)
(missing quotes around arg[0], and at the end of arg[2])

SH's First solution:    tar = tarfile(".", "test.tar.gz", "w:gz")
(quotes around everything, and becomes tarfile())

OP's attempt at implementing 1st solution:    tar =".","test.tar.gz",w:gz)
(now the quotes are entirely missing around arg[2])

SH's concatenation into file what\ I\ wrote:  tar = tarfile(".", 
"test.tar.gz", w:gz")
(suddenly the quotes are missing from the beginning of arg[2])

Result from SH's diff: > tar = tarfile(".", "test.tar.gz", "w:gz")
(the quotes have magically returned).

Then the conversation devolves into grouchiness on both sides, until JM 
steps in with an entirely new solution. 

Sheesh.  Both of y'all needed to pay more attention to detail.  This is 
*one* line of code folks.  Better yet, get a decent editor that will do 
syntax highlighting, so you don't need to pay attention.  If quotes 
don't close, you need to know that.  Train yourself so that looking for 
unclosed quotes, parens, brackets, etc. becomes second nature.  And make 
sure you quote ALL strings.  Some languages are forgiving on this 
count.  Python is not.

Blessings to all, and may all find their good cheer restored by some 
rest.  I offer you both a virtual pint.  You seem like you could use it.


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