Untar a File in Linux/Ubuntu

Usually a tar file is also compressed using either the gZip or bZip2 compressor. We’ll cover both.

1. If Your File Extension is .tar.gz (or .tgz)

If your tar file is compressed using a gZip compressor, use this command:

The options are pretty straightforward for this:

x: This tells tar to extract the files.

v: This option will list all of the files one by one in the archive. The “v” stands for “verbose.”

z: The z option is very important and tells the tar command to uncompress the file (gzip).

f: This options tells tar that you are going to give it a file name to work with.

2. If Your File Extension is .tar.bz2 (or .tbz)

If your tar file is compressed using a bZip2 compressor, use this command:

This is just about the same as the gzip decompression. The major difference is that the z option has been replaced by the j option.

If you remember, the z option was the uncompress (specifically gzip) flag, so it makes sense that this would be switched out.

j: This will decompress a bzip2 file.

3. Mind-Blowingly-Simple Extraction (The dtrx Function)

There are only a handful of people that actually remember all of the options for the tar command. Luckily, Linux folks are great at making things easier.

Standing for “Do the Right Extraction,” dtrx works as you would hope. The command should be simple for both gZip and bZip2 files:

Installing dtrx

To install dtrx, just use apt-get:

Photo Sources: autogeekonline.net

Ryan Frankel

Ryan Frankel has been a professional in the tech industry for more than 10 years and has been developing websites for more than 15. With his background in integrated circuit design and digital signal processing, he has a fundamental understanding of hardware systems and the software that runs them. Ryan now sits as the CTO of Digital Brands Inc. and manages all of the server infrastructure of their websites, as well as their development team. In addition, Ryan has a passion for guitars, good coffee, and puppies.