Backups and Archives using tar and gunzip

To make an archive we use the tar command which stands for tape archive. To make an archive of my home directory /home/des, cd to it and type

tar -cvf mytar.tar /home/des/

This will create the archive file mytar.tar in /home/des The -cvf stands for -c = create v = verbose and -f = file archive

To see a list of the contents of the tar file

tar -tvf /home/des/mytar.tar

To compress the tar file, cd  to the directory of the tar file and type

gzip  mytar.tar

This changes the tar file to a tar.gz compressed archive

To uncompress the tar.gz back to a tar

gunzip mytar.tar.gz

And to extract the archive, cd to the directory you want the files in

tar xvf  /home/des/mytar.tar

You can also use a shorcut to uncompress and unpack a tar.gz in one command

gunzip -c mytar.tar.gz | tar xopf -

You can use the short version of tar and gzip which makes a .tgz compressed archive. To archive and compress a folder named des, cd to it directory and use:

tar cvfz  des.tgz des

This creates a compressed archive named des.tgz. To extract the contents you can use:

tar xvzf des.tgz

This extracts the contents of des.tgz into the current directory.

If you want to extract into a specific directory then cd to that directory and use tar. For example if I wnat to untar into desdump directory.

mkdir desdump

cd desdump

tar xvfz ../des.tgz 

Where ../des.tgz is the relative path to the .tgz file. You could also use the full path to the file like /home/des/des.tgz