Packing and Unpacking Files In Linux

In this post I will be showing you how to pack/compress and unpack/decompress files in Linux using a variety of utilities such as the tar command as-well as others.

Packing/Compressing Files

Lets start by creating a simple .tar file, please keep in mind that this doesn’t really compress your files, rather it puts them all into a package. You can specify files and directories, either will work. To pack all the files in your directory you can use wildcards as-well, here is an example of packing files below.

root@teachmelinux:~/tutorial# tar -cvf files.tar ~/tutorial/file*
tar: Removing leading `/' from member names

If you want to actually compress your files into a .tar.gz archive, then you can simply add a -z argument to the tar command. Here is an example of compressing files using the tar command.

root@teachmelinux:~/tutorial# tar cvzf files.tar.gz ~/tutorial/file*
tar: Removing leading `/' from member names

Next lets create a simple zip file, you can do this by running the following zip command and substituting my information for what you want to zip.

root@teachmelinux:~/tutorial# zip -r ~/tutorial/file*
  adding: root/tutorial/file1.txt (stored 0%)
  adding: root/tutorial/file2.txt (stored 0%)

Unpacking/Decompressing Files

To extract the files out of a .tar.gz file you can use the tar command and substitute the file name for your desired file name.

root@teachmelinux:~/tutorial# tar xvzf files.tar.gz

To extract a simple tar file (not compressed, simply archived), you will also use the tar command except you will drop the z argument.

root@teachmelinux:~/tutorial# tar xvf files.tar

For zip files you can simply run the unzip command followed by the archives name, there are more options which can be viewed by running unzip –help.

root@teachmelinux:~/tutorial# unzip
 extracting: root/tutorial/file1.txt
 extracting: root/tutorial/file2.txt

I hope this post has helped you learn how to pack and unpack files in Linux, please don’t forget to like/comment/share. Thanks!

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