How to Extract (Unzip) Tar Gz File

Update on:
Oct 31, 2022

If you’re roaming the open-source world, chances are high you encounter .tar.gz information regularly. Open-source packages are usually out there to obtain in .tar.gz and .zip codecs.

The tar command is used to create tar archives by changing a bunch of information into an archive. It helps an enormous vary of compression applications akin to gzip, bzip2, lzip, lzma, lzop, xz and compress. Tar was initially designed for creating archives to retailer information on magnetic tape which is why it has its title “Tape ARchive”.

Gzip is the most well-liked algorithm for compressing tar information. By conference, the title of a tar archive compressed with gzip ought to finish with both .tar.gz or .tgz.

Briefly, a file that ends in .tar.gz is a .tar archive compressed with gzip.

The tar command can be used to extract tar archives, show an inventory of the information included within the archive, add further information to an current archive, in addition to numerous different kinds of operations.

On this tutorial, we are going to present you the best way to extract (or unzip) tar.gz and tgz archives.

Extracting tar.gz File

Most Linux distributions and macOS comes with tar command pre-installed by default.

To extract a tar.gz file, use the --extract (-x) choice and specify the archive file title after the f choice:

$ tar -xf archive.tar.gz

The tar command will auto-detect compression kind and can extract the archive. The identical command can be utilized to extract tar archives compressed with different algorithms akin to .tar.bz2 .

If you’re a Desktop consumer and the command-line just isn’t your factor you need to use your File supervisor. To extract (unzip) a tar.gz file merely right-click on the file you need to extract and choose “Extract”. Home windows customers will want a device named 7zip to extract tar.gz information.

The -v choice will make the tar command extra seen and print the names of the information being extracted on the terminal.

$ tar -xvf archive.tar.gz

By default, tar will extract the archive contents within the present working listing . Use the --directory (-C) to extract archive information in a selected listing:

For instance, to extract the archive contents to the /house/linuxize/information listing, you need to use:

$ tar -xf archive.tar.gz -C /house/linuxize/information

Extracting Particular Recordsdata from a tar.gz File

To extract a selected file(s) from a tar.gz file, append a space-separated checklist of file names to be extracted after the archive title:

$ tar -xf archive.tar.gz file1 file2

When extracting information, you will need to present their precise names together with the trail, as printed by --list (-t).

Extracting a number of directories from an archive is identical as extracting information:

$ tar -xf archive.tar.gz dir1 dir2

If you happen to attempt to extract a file that doesn’t exist, an error message just like the next will likely be displayed:

$ tar -xf archive.tar.gz README
tar: README: Not present in archive
tar: Exiting with failure standing on account of earlier errors

You may as well extract information from a tar.gz file based mostly on a wildcard sample, through the use of the --wildcards choice and quoting the sample to stop the shell from decoding it.

For instance, to extract information whose names finish in .js (Javascript information), you’d use:

$ tar -xf archive.tar.gz --wildcards '*.js'

Extracting tar.gz File from stdin

If you’re extracting a compressed tar.gz file by studying the archive from stdin (normally via a pipe), that you must specify the decompression choice. The choice that tells tar to learn the archives via gzip is -z.

Within the following instance we’re downloading the Blender sources utilizing the wget command and pipe its output to the tar command:

$ wget -c https://obtain.blender.org/supply/blender-2.80.tar.gz -O - | sudo tar -xz

If you happen to don’t specify a decompression choice, tar will point out which choice it’s best to use:

tar: Archive is compressed. Use -z choice
tar: Error just isn't recoverable: exiting now

Itemizing tar.gz file

To checklist the content material of a tar.gz file, use the --list (-t) choice:

$ tar -tf archive.tar.gz

The output will look one thing like this:


If you happen to add the --verbose (-v) choice, tar will print extra data, akin to proprietor, file dimension, timestamp ..and so forth:

$ tar -tvf archive.tar.gz
-rw-r--r-- linuxize/customers       0 2019-02-15 01:19 file1
-rw-r--r-- linuxize/customers       0 2019-02-15 01:19 file2
-rw-r--r-- linuxize/customers       0 2019-02-15 01:19 file3


tar.gz file is a Tar archive compressed with Gzip. To extract a tar.gz file, use the tar -xf command adopted by the archive title.

If in case you have any questions, please go away a remark under.

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