tar is a Linux utility. It is stand for tape archive. tar command is use to collect many files/directories into one archive file, often referred to as a tarball. Normally it used for distribution or backup purposes. It is most popular tool in Linux systems to create compressed archive files.
In this article you will learn that how to use tar command for data archive and its compression using (tar, tar.gz, tar.bz2).
We will use below tar tools.
Create tar Archive File
So, in below example we will create a tar archive file data.tar for a directory /boot in current working directory.
tar -cvf data.tar /boot
c – Creates a new .tar archive file.
v – Verbosely show the .tar file progress.
f – File name type of the archive file.
Untar (Un-Compress) Archive File
Now, we will un-compress data.tar archive file in current working directory using below command.
tar -xf data.tar
x to extract archive file.
So what if you want to Un-compress archive in different path or directory. use -C (Capital C) in command and specify your path to un-compress it, Please see below example command.
tar -xf data.tar -C /media
You can see in above image that boot directory is uncompressed in /media directory.
Create tar.gz (gzip) Archive File
If you want to compress a file/folder with gzip, then you have to use “z” in tar command and make archive extension as .tar.gz
z – To create a compressed gzip archive file
Run below command
tar -czf data.tar.gz /boot
Un-compress gzip archive file
tar -xf data.tar.gz
Then, you can also un-compress gzip file in your desired directory
tar -xf data.tar.gz -C /media
Create tar.bz2 Archive File
The bz2 feature is used to highly compress and create archive. Its archive size is small then gzip archive. The bz2 compression takes more time to compress and decompress files as compared to gzip which takes less time.
j – To create highly compressed tar file, Use following command
tar cj data.tar.bz2 /boot
Un-compress bz2 archive file
tar -xf data.tar.bz2
Now, un-compress it in another directory
tar -xf data.tar.bz2 -C /media
List Content of Archive File
t – it is used to list archive data without extract it.
tar -tvf data.tar
tar -tvf data.tar.gz
tar -tvf data.tar.bz2