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:
tar xvzf file.tar.gz
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:
tar xvjf file.tar.tbz
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 The major difference is that the z option has been replaced by the j option.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:
To install dtrx, just use apt-get:
sudo apt-get install dtrx
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