Linux Tar (Tape Archive) Usage Examples

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These are some example involving the usage of the tar command.

Compress directory with gzip, keep name

After compressing, the original directory is not deleted

Usage: tar -czf <output-file-name> <directory-name>

Example: compress a directory called my-dir into my-dir.tar.gz

$ tar -czf my-dir.tar.gz my-dir

Compress file with gzip

You can use either tar -czf or gzip commands:

  • With tar

    $ tar -czf archive.tar.gz my-file.txt
  • With gzip (create a file called my-file.txt.gz and remove original file)

    $ gzip my-file.txt

Extract gz file

(for example, the one created in the previous example)

$ tar -xzf file.tar.gz

Extract tar.gz file

$ tar -xzf file.tar.gz

Extract bzip file

Bzip files usually have a bz2 extension

$ tar -jxf your-archive-file.tar.bz2

Extract tar.bz2 file

Same as above:

$ tar -jxf your-archive-file.tar.bz2

Extract gzip file into directory with same name

Example: extract some-archive.tar.gz into some-archive/ directory

$ tar -xzf some-archive.tar.gz -C .
$ ls
some-archive.tar.gz some-archive/

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