How To Extract and Unzip tar.gz Files for Linux & Windows

how to untar a tar.gz file

Perhaps you might also be interested in learning how to unzip files in Linux. This error occurs if you try to decompress a file without specifying a decompression utility, specifically -z for gzip. In this example, the user tried to extract the file titled “FILE” from filename.tar.gz. However, tar was unable to find FILE within .tar.gz, meaning that the user either misspelled the name or that the file simply doesn’t exist in filename.tar.gz. Another common cause of errors is case sensitivity, where Linux treats “FILE” and “file” as two separate entities.

  1. While every tar.gz file is a .tar archive, not every .gz is a .tar file.
  2. We saw in the last example that by default tar will extract content into the current folder.
  3. Choose the directory to extract your files to.
  4. Here I have a wrapper archive which internally contains 2 nested gzip archives.
  5. With the command prompt open, use the appropriate commands to change the current working directory (cd) to the location of the .tar.gz file you want to unzip.

As you can see, the contents of the archive are successfully extracted to the current folder. Many of the downloadable Linux/Unix files found on the internet are compressed using a tar.gz format. Therefore, knowing how to open or untar tar.gz files is very useful. Any remotely modern version of tar should auto-detect that the archive is gzipped, and add “z” for you.

Now that we know the content of our archive, we can extract myssh file from this archive without extracting other contents. We saw in the last example that by default tar will extract content into the current folder. If we want to specify the destination directory where the content should be extracted and kept then we need to use -C or –directory argument.

Since .tar.gz compresses multiple files all at once, it can take advantage of similarities between individual files to save on space. Generally speaking, a collection of files archived and compressed as a .tar.gz will be more space-efficient (i.e., smaller) than the same collection compressed as a .zip. It’s easy to get confused when navigating between .tar, .tar.gz, and .gz – not to mention zipping and unzipping them.

Is .gz a .tar File?

After reading this article, you know how to extract or unzip .tar.gz file in Linux using different methods and tools. Ubuntu LTS (Long-Term Support) versions, known for their stability and extended support periods, are typically released every two years in April. These are popular for organizations and users who require a reliable and well-supported Ubuntu operating system.

Canonical released its first official version of the OS, Ubuntu 4.10, codenamed ‘Warty Warthog’ in October 2004. Put your knowledge to the test in our lightning-fast Ubuntu quiz! Ten questions to challenge yourself to see if you’re a Linux legend or just a penguin in the making. If you find this article helpful or have additional ideas, please use the comment box below.

Unlike Windows’ convenient graphical user interface (GUI) for unzipping .zip files, you’ll need to use the tar utility through the command line. However, there are also many third-party tools you can install for a more user-friendly experience. You can create your own compressed .tar files using compression utilities such as gzip. Gzip is one of the most popular and available options, especially since it comes built in to most Linux distributions and macOS. The tar command also provides support for extracting only specific files or directories from a .tar.gz file.

How to Extract or Untar tar.gz Files

(Tar is available on Linux.) If you want to extract or untar tar.gz files from your Linux-based VPS using command line options, there are several ways you can do this. Knowing how to unzip a .tar.gz file allows users to extract and access the archives’ contents efficiently. People new to the .tar format usually equate it to a .zip archive, but a tar archive is not compressed. Tar collected all the files into one package, but the files can be compressed with separate utilities.

how to untar a tar.gz file

Note that this command will throw an error unless you specify the exact filename listed in the .tar file. As we’ll cover more in the next section, you can verify file names by listing contents with the tar -tf filename.tar.gz command. For sending and storing, both .zip and .tar.gz files will allow you to send relatively large packages as a single file. However, there are some pretty major differences when it comes to accessing data within the files and the compression efficiency. Of course, that’s not to say .tar files are some kind of “lesser” format than .zip.

gzip: stdin: not in gzip format

Therefore, it may not be possible to remove them. So how to install tar and gzip(gunzip) packages? You can find the answer to this question below. Again, the above commands will extract to the current working directory by default. You can use the -C option to extract to a different directory (in this case, /home/user/files). If you use any open source software and use Linux, you’ll definitely need to untar tar.gz files at some point.

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Sometimes you need to view the content of a tar file as it collects many files and ensures if a specific file is present. You can open most .tar.gz files using the tar command built in to Linux, macOS, and Windows 10. If you’re not comfortable with the terminal or command line, third-party tools such as 7-Zip offer a more user-friendly alternative. This error occurs when trying to extract specific files or directories from a .tar.gz file using tar.

View a List of Files within an Archive

Here you can see that we are extracting the content of our archive into /tmp/temp.Jsuv directory instead of the current path. Ubuntu Core is a minimalistic and immutable version explicitly designed for the Internet of Things (IoT) and embedded systems. The name “Tar” stands for “Tape Archiver” because it was used to place data on storage tapes when tar was invented. The tar program takes one or more files and “wraps” them into a self-contained file. Similar to the previous error, this error occurs when an archive was saved as a .tar despite not being a .tar archive. You can also add the verbose output option (-v) to provide detailed listings, including dates, securities/permissions, and more.

The Tar program lets you store files on magnetic tape. You can use Tar (available on Linux) to extract files from previously created archives, to store extra files, and even to update files that were previously stored. A user-friendly way to extract files from a .tar.gz archive is via a Graphical User Interface (GUI). A GUI is more suitable for beginners than a command-line tool.

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