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Tar file can come compressed or uncompressed. Generally that are compressed using gzip or bzip2. The program, tar, will uncompress both types and extract the files from archive.


  1. Type of tar file: First figure out what is the compression, if any, by the extension. *.tar is uncompressed. *.tgz and *.tar.gz are compressed with gzip. *.tar.bz2 is compressed with bzip2
  2. Compression: For bzip2 you use the 'j' flag. For gzip you use the 'z' flag. and for tar you don't not use a compression flag.
  3. Extracting files: Use the 'x' for extract and the 'f' flag to indicate file
  4. Verbose: you can add a 'v' flag to have the program display the extracted files, but this is nto necessary.
  5. Exicuting the command: to extract the archive, type at the command prompt

tar zxvf file-1.0.tar.gz for a gzip compress tar file tar jxvf file-1.0.tar.bz2 for a bzip2 compressed tar file tar xvf file-1.0.tar for uncompressed tar file

  1. Generally the files will be extracted in a folder with the files name 'file-1.0'. IF you used verbose, the relative location on the files will be displayed along with the extracted file names.

See alsoEdit

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