This tutorial aims to highlight some useful features of the tar command line. We strongly recommend to read the output of the command
to understand the meaning of the options use in this tutorial.
The powerful tar command can make your daily work on Pi easier, here are three way of how to use it:
How to extract and make an archive
To simply untar a .tar archive type the command
tar xvf tarball.tar
Most of tar files we have to deal with are compressed either with gzip, bzip2 or xz.
Here is how to proceed for each cases:
tar xvzf tarball.tar.gz ( or tarball.tgz ) tar zxjf tarball.tar.bzip2 tar xvJf tarball.tar.xz ( or tarball.txz )
In order to compress a folder we have to use tar first.
Here is how to proceed in the case of archiving two folders:
tar cvf mytarball.tar dir1 dir2
We can then compress the resulting mytarball.tar.
it’s also possible to archive and compress in one tar command:
tar cvzf mytarball.tar.gz dir1 dir2 tar cvjf mytarball.tar.bzip2 dir1 dir2 tar cvJf mytarball.tar.xz dir1 dir2
How to list a tarball content
An archive can get very big, one can know it’s content without extract it.
To list files of an archive just do:
tar tvf tarball.tar
In the case of a gzip archive one do
tar tvzf tarball.tgz
Extracting specific files
To extract a specific file from a tarball just execute
tar -xvf tarball.tar path/to/file
where path/to/file was obtained from the content listing (see above).