File Compression with 'tar' command:

Common Options

-c --create 
Create a new archive.

-x --extract     
Extract files from an archive.

-t --list
List the contents of an archive.

-f --file=ARCHIVE
Use archive file or dir ARCHIVE.

-v --verbose 
Verbosely list files processed.

Compression Options -

-a --auto-compress
Use archive suffix to determine the compression program.

-j --bzip2
Filter the archive through bzip2.

-J --xz --lzma 
Filter the archive through xz.

-z --gzip    
Filter the archive through gzip.

Compress a folder

This creates a simple archive of a folder :

tar -cf ./my-archive.tar ./my-folder/

Verbose output shows which files and directories are added to the archive, use the -v option:

tar -cvf ./my-archive.tar ./my-folder/

For archiving a folder compressed 'gzip', you have to use the -z option :

tar -czf ./my-archive.tar.gz ./my-folder/

You can instead compress the archive with 'bzip2', by using the -j option:

tar -cjf ./my-archive.tar.bz2 ./my-folder/

Or compress with 'xz', by using the -J option:

tar -cJf ./my-archive.tar.xz ./my-folder/

Extract a folder from an archive

There is an example for extract a folder from an archive in the current location :

tar -xf archive-name.tar

If you want to extract a folder from an archive to a specfic destination :

tar -xf archive-name.tar -C ./directory/destination

List contents of an archive

List the contents of an archive file without extracting it:

tar -tf archive.tar.gzFolder-In-Archive/Folder-In-Archive/file1Folder-In-Archive/Another-Folder/Folder-In-Archive/Another-Folder/file2

List archive content

There is an example of listing content :tar -tvf archive.tar
The option -t is used for the listing. For listing the content of a tar.gz archive, you have to use the -z option anymore :tar -tzvf archive.tar.gz

Compress and exclude one or multiple folder

If you want to extract a folder, but you want to exclude one or several folders during the extraction, you can use the--exclude option.

tar -cf archive.tar ./my-folder/ --exclude="my-folder/sub1" --exclude="my-folder/sub3"

With this folder tree :


The result will be :


Strip leading components

To strip any number of leading components, use the --strip-components option:


strip NUMBER leading components from file names on extraction
For example to strip the leading folder, use:

tar -xf --strip-components=1 archive-name.tar

Peace out


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