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I have a file called file.tar.gz. How can I uncompress this tar.gz file on a Redhat server from the command line? I want all the files extracted in the current directory that I am in. I imagine this would work for Linux or Unix.

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There is more than one way to do this, however I tend to do it like this from command prompt:

Uncompress tar.gz

The below does both the uncompressing and untarring in a single command and puts the contents in the same directory you are in:

tar zxvf file.tar.gz

The Z argument basically does the gunzip work for you.

Uncompress tar.gz into different directory

Use the -C argument to specify the path to place the files:

tar zxvf file.tar.gz -C /path/to/somedirectory

Uncompress first, untar second

When you uncompress first using gunzip, it will strip the .gz file extension from the file leaving you with a .tar file:

gunzip file.tar.gz
tar xvf file.tar

Uncompress tar.bz2

You might also encounter a bz2 file that you need to uncompress and untar:

tar xvjf file.tar.bz2

Common Tar Arguments

With tar some of the arguments we used above mean the following:

x - extract
v - verbose output
j - filter the archive through bzip2
f - read from a file
z - filter the archive through gzip

Hope that helps.

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tar -zxvf = <3

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tar is a compression technology used to create a Tape ARchive. The resulting file is known as a tarball.

If you have Window, this is the same as a Zip file. You use winzip to compress and uncompress .zip files.So its the same idea. To uncompress the files (or to get the files out of a tarball), you can use the following commands in linux.

tar xvf filename.tar

If the tarball has also been gzipped (compressed), you can use the following command:

tar xvfz filename.tar.gz

If you only want certain directories from the tarball, do this:

tar xvzf filename.tar.gz */*

If you have a .tar.bz2 file, then you need bzip2 installed (/usr/ports/archivers/bzip2), and you issue this command:

tar yxf filename.tar.bz2
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    Just a small clarification is that Windows zipped files are in fact a little different from tarballs. A zipped file is compressed, whereas a tarball is just a bunch of files clumped together into one unit not at all compressed. — kc0tma
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