Linux tar Command and How To Tar A Directory – POFTUT

Linux tar Command and How To Tar A Directory

Old days of Unix to make backups into tape archives tar utility was used. The days past and Linux become popular in UNIX world. But the popularity of tar is never ended. tar is used compress and extract files. We will look usage examples of tar in this tutorial. Tar command is similar to the Windows zip. We can call this for Linux zip folder. There are alternative ways to compress files but we will look tar Linux.

Create Archive with Linux tar

Generally used to make multiple files and directories one file. We will tar a directory

$ tar cvf dymerge.tar dymerge 
  • for compress but actually it is not compressed
  • for verbosity to see what happens
  • for archive file name
  • dymerge.tar is new tar file name
  • dymerge is the source directory name

Compress While Archiving

We can compress archived with with parameter. is used to gzip format

$ tar cvfz dymerge.tar.gz dymerge
  • is for gzip compression other options are default for our usage

To compress with bzip2 parameter should be provided.

List Files in Tar Archive

We can list files without opening the tar. parameter is used to list. But if the archive is gzip we should provide too. As we see tar.gz is extension for tarred and gzipped files.

$ tar tvfz dymerge.tar.gz
  • list files
  • archive is gzip format
List Files in Tar Archive
List Files in Tar Archive

If the archive is bzip2 we can use following command

$ tar tvfj dymerge.tar.gz

Extract Single File From Archive

With tar a single file can be extracted from archive. is the parameter to be used for this operation

$ tar xvfz  dymerge.tar.gz dymerge/surnames.txt 
  • dymerge.tar.gz is our archive that contains our single file
  • dymerge/surnames.txt is the file we want to extract
LEARN MORE  Linux gunzip Command Tutorial with Examples

Extract Multiple Files From Archive with tar

We can extract multiple files with tar. We need too provide –wildcards parameter and related files for this. Here is used for globing

$ tar xvfz  dymerge.tar.gz --wildcards *.txt  
  • –wildcards is the parameter
  • *.txt is the file names we want to exract

Untar Command

We can create some alias to create new untar command like below.

$ export alias untar="tar dvf $1"
Untar Command
Untar Command

Adding File into Archive

After creating an archive we may need to update or add new files and folders to the existing archive. We can use r option to add new file or folder by specifying file and folder names at the end of the command like below. In this example we will add file named test.txtinto the existing archive named dymerge.tar.gz

$ tar rvfz  dymerge.tar.gz test.txt
  • We append test.txt file with option
  • We can add directories too

Estimate Archive Size

Before archiving a directory with tar command we can learn the size of the archive with the help of wc command. We will tar the directory in to the starndard output which will be redirected to the wc command. wc command will count the bytes and provide estimated size of the given archived file.

$ tar -cf - dymerge | wc -c 


Linux tar Command and How To Tar A Directory Infografic

Linux tar Command and How To Tar A Directory Infografic
Linux tar Command and How To Tar A Directory Infografic

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