Extract files from tar archive in Linux


It is absolutely impossible to memorize tar command line options!


To extract files from the tar.gz (gzipped tarball) archive type the following:

tar -zxvf archive.tar.gz


If your tarball is compressed with bzip2 instead of gzip, then use j switch instead of z:

tar -jxvf archive.tar.bz2

Just tar

If your archive isn't compressed at all but just a tarball then you don't need z either j switches:

tar -xvf archive.tar

Different destination

To extract files into different folder add -C option:

tar -C /home/sam/folder -zxvf archive.tar.gz

Extract a single folder

To extract a single folder, let's say /home/sam/blog use the following:

tar -zxvf archive.tar.gz home/sam/blog

Extract a single file

To extract a single file, let's say /home/sam/blog/entry1.txt use the following:

tar -zxvf archive.tar.gz /home/sam/blog/entry1.txt
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