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HowTo: Unpack .tgz File On Linux

I am a new Linux user. I am having problem with the Terminal. How do I unpack .tgz (tar.gz) file on Linux using command line options?

Most Linux and open source software files are distributed in either .tgz or .tar.gz extensions format over the Internet. These files are gzipd tar balls and include multiple files and sub-directories into a single file using tar command. To save the bandwidth tar files are cpmpressed using gzip program.

Tutorial details
DifficultyEasy (rss)
Root privilegesNo
Requirementstar+gunzip
Estimated completion time2m

Unpacking .tgz files command

The syntax is as follows:

tar zxvf fileNameHere.tgz

Or try the geeky bash pipe based syntax:

gunzip -c fileNameHere.tgz | tar xvf -

Examples

In this example, unpack a file called backups.tgz, enter:

 
tar zxvf backups.tgz
 

OR

 
gunzip -c backups.tgz | tar xvf -
 

Sample outputs:

tar: Removing leading '/' from member names
x Users/vivek/Downloads/db.txt
x Users/vivek/Downloads/resume.txt
x Users/vivek/Downloads/vendors.txt
x Users/vivek/Downloads/sales.txt

To unpack and put files in a different folder (directory) say /tmp/data, enter:

 
tar zxvf backups.tgz -C /tmp/data
ls -l /tmp/data
 

tar command options

  • -z : Uncompress the resulting archive with gzip command.
  • -x : Extract to disk from the archive.
  • -v : Produce verbose output i.e. show progress and file names while extracting files.
  • -f backup.tgz : Read the archive from the specified file called backup.tgz.
  • -C /tmp/data : Unpack/extract files in /tmp/data instead of the default current directory.

See tar(1) command man page for more information.

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Alsalgo November 20, 2013, 7:29 am

    Hello.
    You can try too:

    gzip -dc backups.tgz | tar xvf -
    gzip -dc backups.tar.gz | tar xvf -
    gzip -dc backups.tar.Z | tar xvf -
  • paul muhia January 17, 2015, 9:43 am

    It’s just what i have been looking for. Much thanks.

  • adoare January 22, 2015, 6:22 pm

    Thank you for the information, I was able to find what i was looking for in a jiff and i was able to understand the instructions.

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