tar command in UNIX or Linux is one of the important command which provides archiving functionality in unix. we can use UNIX tar command to create compressed oruncompressed archive files by using either gzip or bzip2. In this unix tar command tutorial we will see examples of unix tar command related to basic archiving task e.g. How to create tar archive in Unix and Linux, How to extract files from tar archive in unix, How to view contents of tar file in Unix and Linux or how to update and existing tar file in Unix. Examples of tar command in unix are kept simple and easy to understand and master each of basic task using unix tar command.
Ok enough introduction now let's see some real life examples of tar command in Unix and Linux:
How to use tar command in Unix
Using tar command in UNIX is simple and it has similar syntax like any other UNIX command. below is the syntax of tar command in UNIX:
tar [options] [name of tar file to be created] [list of files and directories to be included]
This syntax of tar command is for easy understanding you can also check detailed syntax by using command "tar --usage" in UNIX machine.
tar command examples in Linux
Unix tar command line options
In this section of UNIX tar command tutorial, we will see some useful options of tar command in Linux and we will use this options in our example to understand the usage of this option along-with tar command.
c -- create, for creating tar file
v -- verbose, the display name of files including,excluding from tar command
f -- following, used to point name of tar file to be created. it actually tells tar command that name of the file is "next" letter just after options.
x -- extract, for extracting files from the tar file.
t -- for viewing the content of tar file
z -- zip, tells tar command that creates tar file using gzip.
j –- another compressing option tells tar command to use bzip2 for compression
r -- update or adds file or directory in already existed .tar file
wildcards -- to specify patters in Unix tar command
Most of the use either WinZip or WinRAR in windows machine to zipping or creating archives of content so when we move to command line interface likeUnix or Linux we struggle without those tools. UNIX tar command is similar to WinZip or WinRAR and you can use UNIX tar command to create both compressed or uncompressed (zipped) archives in UNIX.
In this example of tar command, we will create tar file including all the files and directories or selected files and directories in Unix.
it has two files and one directory. now we will create a tar file with all these contents.
stock_trader@system:~/test tar -cvf trading.tar *
You see unix tar command is creating tar file with name "trading" with contents shown above. just to review here "-c" is used to create tar file "v" is used to be verbose and "f" is used to tell tar file name. You can see the tar file here
here option "t" is used to display content of tar file in unix while options "v" and "f" are for "verbose" and "following". now you can clearly see that all the files which we wanted to be included in tar file are there.
In this example of unix tar command we will see how to extract files or directories from a tar file in unix or Linux. We will use same trading.tar file created in earlier example. In this example we will create a directory "trading" and extract contents of trading.tar on that directory.
In our previous example of Linux tar command we have created uncompressed tar file but most of the time we also need to create compressed tar file using gzip or bzip2. In this example of tar command in Linux we will learn about creating tar file using gzip.
stock_trader@system:~/test tar -zcvf trading.tgz *
you see creating tar file with gzip is very easy just use "-z" option and it will crate a gzip tar. .tgz or tar.gz extension is used to denote tar file with gzip. size of a compressed tar file is far less than uncompressed one.
you can also view contents of gzip tar file by using earlier command in combination of "z" option and same is true for extracting content from gzip tar. below examples of unix tar command will show how to view contents of .tgz or .tar.gz file in unix.
bzip2 is another compression option we have which we can use with unix tar command. its exactly similar with our earlier option of compressing using gzip but instead of "z" option we need to use "j" tar option to create bzip2 file as shown in below example of tar command in unix.
stock_trader@system:~/test tar -jcvf trading.tar.bz2 *
stock_trader@system:~/test ls -lrt trading.tar.bz2
.tar.bz2 is used to denote a tar file with bzip2 compression. for viewing contents of bzip2 tar file and extracting content we can use as shown inexample of UNIX tar command with gzip compression, just replace "-z" with "-j" for bzip2.
How to extract a particular file form .tar, .tar.gz or .tar.bzip2
In previous examples of extracting contetns from tar file we have extracted everything. sometime we just need a specific file from tar file. in this example of unix tar command we will extract a particular file from a tar archive.
stock_trader@system:~/test/new tar -jxvf trading.tar.bz2 equity
its simple just specify name of file in this case its "equity". if your tar file is gzip one then use "-z" that's it. You can also use combination of grep and find command with tar to get more dynamic use.
How to extract group of file or directory from form .tar, .tar.gz or .tar.bzip2 in UNIX