tar command examples in Linux

In this tutorial, How do I use the tar command the compress and extract files and folders in Linux? Linux the essential for DevOps Roles.

The tar command in Linux is used for creating and manipulating tar archives, which are commonly used for bundling multiple files and directories into a single file. Here are a few examples of how to use the tar command.

The syntax tar command

tar [Options] your_tar_name.tar source_tar


-c –create Create a new archive.
-x –extract Extract files from an archive.
-t –list List the contents of an archive.
-f –file=ARCHIVE Use archive file or directories ARCHIVE.
-v –verbose Verbosely list files processed.
-a –auto-compress Use archive suffix to determine the compression program.
-j –bzip2 Filter the archive through bzip2.
-J –xz Filter the archive through xz.
-z –gzip Filter the archive through gzip.

For example, tar command examples, compress a directory.

Creating an archive of a directory as command below

[huupv@huupv devopsroles]$ tar -cvf folder.tar folder

The archiving a folder compressed “gzip” you can use -z option.

[huupv@huupv devopsroles]$ tar -czf folder.tar.gz folder

You can compress the archive with “bzip2” by using -j option

[huupv@huupv devopsroles]$ tar -cjf folder.tar.bz2 folder

Or compress “xz” by using the -J option.

[huupv@huupv devopsroles]$ tar -cJf folder.tar.xz folder

For example, Extract a directory from an archive

To extract a directory from an archive in the current location

[huupv@huupv devopsroles]$ tar -xvf folder.tar

Or to extract a directory from an archive to a specific “your_folder”.

[huupv@huupv devopsroles]$ tar -xvf  folder.tar -C ./directory/your_folder

For example list archive content

Listing content as command below

[huupv@huupv devopsroles]$ tar -tvf folder.tar

For listing the content of a tar.gz archive

[huupv@huupv devopsroles]$ tar -tzvf folder.tar.gz

Compress and exclude one or multiple directories

This is my folder tree

[huupv@huupv devopsroles]$ tree tar-folder
├── folder1
├── folder2
└── folder3

3 directories, 0 files

You can exclude one or several folders “–exclude” option as the command below

[huupv@huupv devopsroles]$ tar --exclude='./tar-folder/folder1' --exclude='./tar-folder/folder3' -cvf my-archive.tar ./tar-folder

The screen output terminal


tar command examples in linux


Through the article, you can use tar command examples in Linux as above. These are just a few examples of how to use the tar command in Linux. The tar command offers many other options and functionalities, so you can refer to the command’s manual (man tar) for more detailed information and usage examples. I hope will this your helpful. Thank you for reading the DevopsRoles page!

About HuuPV

My name is Huu. I love technology and especially Devops Skill such as Docker, vagrant, git so forth. I likes open-sources. so I created DevopsRoles.com site to share the knowledge that I have learned. My Job: IT system administrator. Hobbies: summoners war game, gossip.
View all posts by HuuPV →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.