tar command is used to create an archive, grouping multiple files in a single file.
Its name comes from the past and means tape archive. Back when archives were stored on tapes.
This command creates an archive named
archive.tar with the content of
tar -cf archive.tar file1 file2
coption stands for create. The
foption is used to write to file the archive.
To extract files from an archive in the current folder, use:
tar -xf archive.tar
xoption stands for extract
and to extract them to a specific directory, use:
tar -xf archive.tar -C directory
You can also just list the files contained in an archive:
tar is often used to create a compressed archive, gzipping the archive.
This is done using the
tar -czf archive.tar.gz file1 file2
This is just like creating a tar archive, and then running
gzip on it.
To unarchive a gzipped archive, you can use
gzip -d, and then unarchive it, but
tar -xf will recognize it's a gzipped archive, and do it for you:
tar -xf archive.tar.gz
tar command works on Linux, macOS, WSL, and anywhere you have a UNIX environment