[UNIX Tips] Learn tar utility in 5 minutes

Tar utility creates an archive, Gzip compressed the files.

tar utility was originated in Unix, but now available in Linux as well to create archived file using a set of files. One file will be created that contains all the files in it. But do not get misunderstand, ".tar" file is not a compressed file. It is only a collection of files within a single uncompressed file.

1. Create tar archive

tar -cf tarFileName.tar file1 file2 file3
This will create an achive named tarFileName.tar and that will include the files specified there (ie: file1, file2, file3).

2. View the list of files

tar -tf tarFileName.tar
This will list the details of the files inside the archive.

3. Extract tar archive

tar -xf tarFileName.tar
This will extract the archive and create the files that were inside the archive.

The above options have the meanings as:
  • c - create an archive
  • f - archive file
  • t - list the content of the archive
  • x - extract an archive

Compress tar with GZIP

If the file is a ".tar.gz" or ".tgz" file it is a collection of files that is compressed. To compress a file, first create the tar file then gzip the file. For using gzip, the option -z has to be used with the above command.

Create tar archive
tar -czf tarFileName.tar.gz file1 file2 file3
z - compress using gzip utility

Now the archive is created as a compressed file.

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Digizol: [UNIX Tips] Learn tar utility in 5 minutes
[UNIX Tips] Learn tar utility in 5 minutes
Tar utility creates an archive, Gzip compressed the files.
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