Linux / UNIX: Untar / Extract a .lzma Tar Ball

by on September 8, 2010 · 8 comments· LAST UPDATED September 8, 2010

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I’ve downloaded a file called file.tar.lzma tar ball from the Internet but I am not able to open tar ball. How do I open or extract a .lzma file under Linux or UNIX like operating systems using command line options?

LZMA (Lempel-Ziv-Markov chain-Algorithm) is an improved version of famous LZ77 compression algorithm. It was improved in way of maximum increasing of compression ratio, keeping high decompression speed and low memory requirements for decompressing.

Task: Extract a .tar.lzma Using tar Command

You can use GNU tar version 1.20+ as follows to extract a .lzma tar ball:

tar --lzma -xvf file.tar.lama

LZMA Compression And Decompression Tool

You can install lzma package as follows under Debian / Ubuntu Linux, enter:
$ sudo apt-get install lzma

CentOS / Fedora / RHEL / Redhat Linux user should use the yum command as follows:
# yum install xz

FreeBSD user should use the following commands:
To install the lzma port, enter:
# cd /usr/ports/archivers/lzma/ && make install clean
OR add the lzma binary package under FreeBSD:
# pkg_add -r lzma

Debian / Ubuntu Linux and FreeBSD: Extract a .lzma File

Type the command as follows:

unlzma file.tar.lzma
ls -l
tar -xvf file.tar


lzma -d filr.tar.lzma
ls -l
tar -xvf file.ta


lzma -cd file.tar.lzma | tar xvf -

Get Information About a .lzma File

Type the command as follows:

lzmainfo file.tar.lzma

Sample output:

Uncompressed size:             Unknown
Dictionary size:               8 MB (2^23 bytes)
Literal context bits (lc):     3
Literal pos bits (lp):         0
Number of pos bits (pb):       2

CentOS / Redhat Linux (RHEL): Extract a .lzma File

Type the command as follows:

xz -d file.tar.lzma
ls -l
tar -xvf file.tar


xz -cd file.tar.lzma | tar xvf -

GUI Tool & CLI Tool Source Code

Use 7-zip tool for Linux or MS-Windows operating systems which is a file archiver with a high compression ratio. You can also download the LZMA SDK provides the documentation, samples, header files, libraries, and tools you need to develop applications that use LZMA compression for UNIX like operating systems.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 swapna November 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Sir, it is very informative but how to unpack .lzma in wingm or msys shell.

Thank you.


2 sntosh March 26, 2012 at 12:38 pm

please help me how to untar the .lzma


3 santosh March 26, 2012 at 12:39 pm

please kindly help me how to untar the .lzma


4 WSF September 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Use 7-Zip in Windows environments.


5 Arun September 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Hi Santosh or Swapna,

use below commands to untar the lzma files with wingm or msys shell.

tar –lzma -xvf filename.tar.lzma

Thank you



6 umer May 7, 2013 at 8:18 am

Thank you. It works. I searched many posts on internet about extraction of tar.lzma files but none of them worked.


7 binu May 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm

thanks you !


8 suman August 21, 2013 at 12:23 pm

in redhat linux use like this:

install lzma rpm with –nodeps

lzma -d file.tar.lzma
ls -l
tar -xvf file.tar

thats it…cool


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