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FAQ / SUPPORTED FILE FORMATS > TAR FILES
open source rar

TAR file format (TGZ, TBZ,...)



TAR FILE FORMAT

CREATE, OPEN, EXTRACT TAR FILES

TAR FILES, READ MORE

extract .tar files



TAR is a popular archiving format, mainstream for data backup and distribution purpose on Unix and Unix-like systems, as BSD, Linux and derivates. In use since early Unix versions, predating integrated archiving and compression formats like zip and rar, it was later standardized by POSIX-1.1988 and POSIX.1-2001. Tar packages are sometimes referred as "tarballs".

TAR file format doesn't feature native data compression, so TAR archives are often compressed with an external utility like, but not only, GZip, BZip2, XZ (using 7-Zip/p7zip LZMA/LZMA2 compression algorithms), and similar tools to reduce archive's size, i.e. for more compact backup, or smaller software distribution package.
Similarly, TAR also does not natively support cryptography, but it is possible to compress the TAR package with a compression format providing encryption features such as zip, 7z, arc, pea.
Adding items to a tarball before compression stage is quivalent to using solid compression, which can be beneficial for optimizing output size.

tar archives

When it is recommended to use TAR format: in brief, it is a good choice for distributing data on Linux and other Unix-like systems, combining it with .gz / .bz compression to save bandwidth if relevant for the intended use.

tar.gz


  



  

.TAR



SPEED tar archiving

Archiving is equivalent in speed of merging files, faster than file copy as avoids overhead of creating filesystem entry for each file.







COMPRESSION RATIO tgz tbz archive

Not meant to provide compression, rely on external compressors in pipeline (tar.gz, tar.bz, tar.xz).

ADVANCED OPTIONS tar command

Tar standard is meant to provide only archiving of data and metadata, other features are delegated to external programs pipelined to Tar command.






Create, open, extract TAR files


PeaZip offers full read / write support for uncompressed and compressed TAR archives - TAR.GZ archives (same as TGZ extension), TAR.BZ2 archives (alternative file extensions TBZ, TB2, TBZ2), TAZ, TZ, TAR.Z, TLZ, TAR.LZ, TAR.LZMA, TXZ, TAR.XZ, etc... - learn more about files with multiple extensions

As alternative, 7-Zip (on MS Windows systems) and p7zip (on Linux/BSD), both free and Open Source tools, are recommended for working with Tar file format.

Archive to TAR format

Use one of the following procedures to add files / folders to a new or into an existing .tar file

  • From the system's file explorer

    • Select files and folders and use context menu entry PeaZip, Add to archive: you will be prompted to archive creation screen, allowing to set compression settings, output destination, encryption (password protection), and other options.

  • From PeaZip

    • Select files and folders, and use Add button (or application's context menu entry of same name) to be prompted archive creation screen

    • Drag and drop files / folders from the system to a PeaZip instance; if you are browsing an existing archive you will be asked if you want to add files to the archive or create a new one


When adding folders or multiple files to single file compressors, in example selecting BZIP2 or GZ format, PeaZip automatically switches on "Tar before" switch. This option (that is available for all formats) consolidate input data into a tar archive before actual compression, providing
  • a way to save and preserve Unix/Linux file metadata which might not be supported by the final format
  • input consolidation provides solid compression regardless the format

Update existing TAR archive


To update a compressed Tar file (TGZ, TBZ, TXZ, TAR.GZ...) it must be decompressed before.

Easiest way to edit an uncompressed TAR is opening it in PeaZip and dragging files/folders to it, which will automatically activate update mode - can be changed into add mode in advanced tab.
To remove (delete) data from the archive, select items and press cancel or "Delete from archive" button. Deleted items will not be recoverable from recycle bin.

Convert TAR files


Convert button extracts and re-pack input TAR archive files into any write-supported format (7z, arc, pea, zip...) - optionally keeping or discarding original archives - or convert any existing read-supported archive (7z, ace, rar, zip, zipx...) to TAR format.

Depending on user's needs, compressed TAR archives (TGZ, TBZ, etc) can optionally de-compressed before being converted, so individual archived files gets re-compressed in the new format, otherwise existing .tar archive will be simply re-compressed as a whole (solid compression).

Open and extract TAR file

Use one of the procedures described below to open (browse and search inside the archive) and/or decompress .TAR archives

  • UNTAR from the system

    • To view archive's content, open it in PeaZip with double click (if file extension is associated with the application), or using system context menu "Open as archive" entry, that will attempt to read any user provided file type regardless file type associations - this option is also available in PeaZip's context menu

    • Use context menu entry "Extract..." for full extraction screen GUI where to set output path and other options

    • Select one or more archives and use context menu entry Extract here or Extract here (to new folder) for quick extraction with no further confirmation

  • UNTAR within PeaZip program GUI

    • Extract button shows full featured archive extraction screen providing access to all options (password, set output path, open output path after extraction, keep or delete original archives, etc) and can send to extraction selected items only

    • Extract all to... button activate a simplified procedure only asking for output path

    • Simply drag & drop desired objects from the application to the system

    • Doubleclick on an archived file to open it in preview mode, i.e. to inspect its content before considering the need for real extraction

To work on a compressed TAR file (TGZ, TAR.GZ, TBZ...) you will need to uncompress the tar archive before using aforementioned methods - it is a two-step non atomic operation.

To extract a spanned (split) TAR file, save all the parts in the same directory, then open as usual the first volume of the archive, which has .TAR.001 extension - subsequent volumes have progressively numbered file extensions (002, 003 etc).
Please note TAR format does not support file spanning by itself, but PeaZip can split TAR archives as described.

Manage encrypted TAR archives


Tar standard does not implement data encryption, but an existing TAR package can be made password protected compressing it with 7Z, ARC, PEA, or ZIP.
It can be done in a single passage using "TAR before" option and chosing a final archive format supporting encryption.

TAR files, read more


External online resources: TARuntar package on GNU software directory, TAR file format.tar archive extension Wikipedia entry, GZipGzip tool and BZip2bzip compressor compression programs.

Topics: free Tar program for Windows, tgz, tbz, what is .tar file extension wiki, how do I open tar files (handle, read / write, view content, browse & search archived data), untar in Windows systems, edit existing tar archive, extract to new folder, drag and drop extraction, tar.xz, tar.gz, tar.bz, tarball, tarbomb, extract tar on Windows.



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PeaZip is a free cross-platform file archiver that provides an unified portable GUI for many Open Source technologies like 7-Zip, FreeArc, PAQ, UPX...
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Features of PeaZip includes extract, create and convert multiple archives at once, create self-extracting archives, split/join files, strong encryption with two factor authentication, encrypted password manager, secure deletion, find duplicate files, calculate hashes, export job definition as script.

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