The tar command in Linux is a powerful tool that allows users to create, extract, and manipulate archive files. One of the most common uses of the tar command is to create an archive of one or more files. This is known as “taring” a file, and it is a simple process that can be done with just a few command line arguments. In this article, we will discuss how to use the tar command to create a tar archive of a single file or a directory on a Linux system.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that the tar command is available on most Linux distributions by default. If it’s not already installed on your system, you can install it using your distribution package manager.
To create a tar archive of a single file, use the following command:
tar -cvf <archive_name.tar> <file_to_archive>
The options used in this command are as follows:
-c : create a new archive
-v : verbosely list the files processed
-f : use archive file specified
This command will create a new archive file named
archive_name.tar and add the specified file to it. The archive file will be created in the current directory.
To archive a directory, use the following command:
tar -cvf <archive_name.tar> <directory_to_archive>
By adding a directory instead of a file, all the files and subdirectories within that directory will be added to the archive.
It’s also possible to archive multiple files or directories at once by listing them all after the archive name. For example:
tar -cvf <archive_name.tar> <file1> <file2> <directory1>
Once you’ve created a tar archive, you can extract its contents using the following command:
tar -xvf <archive_name.tar>
-x flag tells tar to extract the files from the archive, and the
-v flag causes tar to verbosely list the files it’s extracting.
It’s also possible to extract the contents of an archive to a different directory using the
-C flag. For example:
tar -xvf <archive_name.tar> -C /path/to/directory
This command will extract the contents of the archive to the specified directory.
Tar also provides other options that can be useful in different scenarios, such as compressing the archive with gzip by using the
-z flag, or adding a password to the archive using the
In conclusion, the tar command is a powerful tool that allows users to create, extract, and manipulate archive files in Linux. By using the
-cvf options to create a tar archive and the
-xvf options to extract an archive, you can easily manage your files and directories on a Linux system. With a little practice, you’ll be taring files like a pro in no time!