Commandline 101: Extracting Compressed tar Files

FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).

How to extract .tar.gz, .tgz, and .tar.bz2 files from the command line.

Download in .ogv format


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Modern tar

kjordan2001's picture

The latest versions of tar will automatically discover the compression used on it and so you don't need to specify -j or -z.

re: another approach

slims's picture

That works, for example, on Solaris and other *nixes where tar doesnt have the "z" option, so i'm just used to do it that way, btw, I use "gzip -dc file.tar.gz | tar xvf -"

another approach

sharfah's picture

I prefer this:

gunzip < file.tar.gz | tar xvf -

Always impresses anyone watching!

Free Dummies Books
Continuous Engineering


  • What continuous engineering is
  • How to continuously improve complex product designs
  • How to anticipate and respond to markets and clients
  • How to get the most out of your engineering resources

Get your free book now

Sponsored by IBM

Free Dummies Books
Service Virtualization

Learn to:

  • Define service virtualization
  • Select the most beneficial services to virtualize
  • Improve your traditional approach to testing
  • Deliver higher-quality software faster

Get your free book now

Sponsored by IBM