In Unix- Linux , the name of the tar command is short for tape archiving, the storing of entire file systems onto magnetic tape, which is one use for the command. However, a more common use for tar is to simply combine a few files into a single file, for easy storage and distribution.

The tar command used to rip a collection of files and directories into highly compressed archive file commonly called tarball or tar, gzip and bzip in Unix – Linux. The tar is most widely used command to create compressed archive files and that can be moved easily from one disk to another disk or machine to machine.

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1. Create tar Archive File

The below example command will create a tar archive file tecmint-14-09-12.tar for a directory /home/tecmint in current working directory. See the example command in action.

[root@cent emre]# ls -ltr
total 0
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Mar 21 11:57 emrepics3.jpg
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Mar 21 11:57 emrepics2.jpg
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Mar 21 11:57 emrepics1.jpg
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Mar 21 11:57 emrepics9.jpg
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 0 Mar 21 11:57 emrepics8.jpg

[root@cent emre]# cd ..
[root@cent ~]# ls -ltr
total 0
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 195 Mar 21 11:57 emre
[root@cent ~]# tar -cvf emrepics.tar emre
emre/
emre/emrepics1.jpg
emre/emrepics2.jpg
emre/emrepics3.jpg
emre/emrepics4.jpg
emre/emrepics5.jpg

Let’s discuss each option that we have used in the above command for creating a tar archive file.

  1. c – Creates a new .tar archive file.
  2. v – Verbosely show the .tar file progress.
  3. f – File name type of the archive file.
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