tar command examples

Reginald is studying to be a GNU/Linux System Administrator one day, hopefully at Red Hat. Give and fully explain 10 examples uses of the tar command.

For Reginald and anyone aiming to become a proficient GNU/Linux System Administrator, mastering the tar command is essential due to its flexibility in handling archives. Here are 10 example uses of the tar command, each with a full explanation:

1. Creating a Basic tar Archive

tar -cvf documents.tar /home/reginald/documents
  • -c creates a new archive.
  • -v enables verbose mode, showing files as they are added.
  • -f specifies the filename of the archive. This command creates an archive named documents.tar of the /home/reginald/documents directory.

2. Extracting a tar Archive

tar -xvf documents.tar
  • -x extracts files from an archive. This command extracts the contents of documents.tar into the current directory.

3. Viewing Contents of an Archive Without Extracting

tar -tvf documents.tar
  • -t lists the contents of the archive without extracting them. This is useful for checking the archive's contents before extraction.

4. Creating a gzipped tar Archive

tar -czvf documents.tar.gz /home/reginald/documents
  • -z uses gzip to compress the archive, making the file smaller. This command creates a compressed archive named documents.tar.gz.

5. Extracting a gzipped tar Archive

tar -xzvf documents.tar.gz

This extracts a gzipped archive. The -z option is used to handle gzip compression.

6. Creating a bzip2 Compressed tar Archive

tar -cjvf documents.tar.bz2 /home/reginald/documents
  • -j uses bzip2 for compression, typically offering better compression than gzip but is slower. This command results in a documents.tar.bz2 compressed archive.

7. Extracting a bzip2 Compressed tar Archive

tar -xjvf documents.tar.bz2

This extracts a bzip2 compressed archive, using -j to process the bzip2 compression.

8. Creating an Archive with Exclusions

tar -cvf documents.tar --exclude='*.mp4' /home/reginald/documents
  • --exclude specifies patterns to exclude from the archive. This command creates an archive of the documents directory, excluding all .mp4 files.

9. Appending Files to an Existing Archive

tar -rvf documents.tar /home/reginald/new_document.txt
  • -r appends files to the end of an existing archive. This command adds new_document.txt to the documents.tar archive.

10. Extracting Specific Files from an Archive

tar -xvf documents.tar home/reginald/documents/special_document.txt

This command extracts only special_document.txt from the documents.tar archive, making it useful for retrieving individual files without extracting the entire archive.

Understanding and utilizing these commands will greatly enhance Reginald's capability to manage files and directories efficiently as a future GNU/Linux System Administrator, especially in environments like Red Hat, where such skills are invaluable.


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