Archive Compress Unpack And Uncompress Files Using Tar Star Gzip And Bzip2

General Information

You can do most all with tar, but it doesn't matter which tool you use to get the job done.


  • -c ⇒ create new archive
  • -t ⇒ list contents of archive
  • -x ⇒ extract files from archive
  • -z ⇒ compress or decompress in gzip (depending upon if -x or -c was also passed)
  • -v ⇒ display files as they are processed
  • -j ⇒ use bzip2
  • -r ⇒ append/add file to the end of the existing archive
  • -u ⇒ update a file in an existing archive if the source is newer
  • -f ⇒ archive filename
  • –selinux ⇒ include selinux contexts

Archive and compress (using gzip) the /var/log directory

tar -cvzf logs.tar.gz /var/log

List contents of archive

tar -tf logs.tar.gz

Decompress and unpack at the same time to current directory

tar -zxvf logs.tar.gz

Decompress and unpack at the same time to a different existing directory

tar -zxvf logs.tar.gz -C /home/rjones/data/

Add a new file to an existing archive

tar -rvf logs.tar newlog.log

Install (usually not there by default)

yum install star

Archive and compress the /var/log directory (name it logs.tar.gz)

star -cz -f logs.tar.gz /var/log

List archive contents

star -t -f logs.tar

Decompress, unpack a bzip2 (star auto selects proper decompression type)

star -x -f logs.tar.bz2

Compress an archive

gzip logs.tar

Decompress an archive

gzip -d logs.tar.gz
gunzip logs.tar.gz

Cat a compressed file (useful for rotated logs)

zcat messages.1.log.gz

Compress an archive

bzip2 logs.tar

Decompress an archive

bzip2 -d logs.tar.bz2
bunzip2 logs.tar.bz2

Cat a compressed file (useful for rotated logs)

bzcat messages.1.log.bz2

  • linux_wiki/archive_compress_unpack_and_uncompress_files_using_tar_star_gzip_and_bzip2.txt
  • Last modified: 2019/05/25 23:50
  • (external edit)