· unix tar

Unix: tar - Extracting, creating and viewing archives

I've been playing around with the Unix tar command a bit this week and realised that I'd memorised some of the flag combinations but didn't actually know what each of them meant.

For example, one of the most common things that I want to do is extract a gripped neo4j archive:

$ wget http://dist.neo4j.org/neo4j-community-1.9.2-unix.tar.gz
$ tar -xvf neo4j-community-1.9.2-unix.tar.gz


I didn't realise that by default tar runs against standard input so we could actually achieve the above in one go with the following combination: ~~~bash $ wget http://dist.neo4j.org/neo4j-community-1.9.2-unix.tar.gz -o - | tar -xv ~~~

The other thing I wanted to do was create a gripped archive from the contents of a folder, something which I do much less frequently and am therefore much more rusty at! The following does the trick:

$ tar -cvzpf neo4j-football.tar.gz neo4j-football/
$ ls -alh neo4j-football.tar.gz 
-rw-r--r--  1 markhneedham  staff   526M 22 Aug 23:38 neo4j-football.tar.gz


Sometimes we'll want to exclude some things from our archive which is where the '--exclude' flag comes in handy.

For example I want to exclude the data, git and neo4j folders which sit inside 'neo4j-football' which I can do with the following:

$ tar --exclude "data*" --exclude "neo4j-community*" --exclude ".git" -cvzpf neo4j-football.tar.gz neo4j-football/
$ ls -alh neo4j-football.tar.gz 
-rw-r--r--  1 markhneedham  staff   138M 22 Aug 23:36 neo4j-football.tar.gz

If we want to quickly check that our file has been created correctly we can run the following:

$ tar -tvf neo4j-football.tar.gz


And that pretty much covers my main use cases for the moment!

  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • Reddit
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • Pocket