Tar command examples

tar stands for ‘tape archive’. It’s a widely known and used command, useful to create compressed archive files and decompress them. tar syntax is rather unorthodox.

Create compressed archive

For tar.gz:

# tar cvzf foobar.tar.gz /home/foobar
# tar cvzf foobar.tgz /home/foobar

For tar.bz2:

# tar cvjf foobar.tar.bz2 /home/foobar

Extract archive

# tar xvf <archive>

To extract content into a given directory:

# tar xvf <archive> -C /path/to/directory;

List archive content

# tar tvf <archive>

Extract only a given file

# tar xvf <archive> <file>

Add file to an archive

# tar rvf <archive> <file>