Symbolic links with regards to tar backups
I am attempting to make several baseline backups for my system using tar just in case something catastrophic happens to my system. I pretty much know what i should strip away not to include in my backups however i do plan on backing up my /usr directory and if i ever add software do an incremental update.
So i started to read the tar man page but i did not see anything about symbolic links. This got me to think is /usr a self contained secondary level directory library wise or does it include symbolic links to /lib /lib32 /lib64.
My method of thinking so far is to create a back up to /usr /opt /home /etc and some of /var with the thought of my system being modular and if the worst comes i can reinstall my system bare-bones and just overwrite my configuration directory and /usr level binaries and libs and add my personal files. Essentially letting static binaries and system critical binaries and the installed kernel be expendable and easily replaceable in the event of a full system failure.
But this train of thought depends on two assumptions that i think are true but i am not positive hence i am asking. First are /lib /lib32 /lib64 library files only used for the kernel and the binaries in /bin and /sbin or symbolic links can still exist after being compressed into a tarball and unzipped onto a blank system.