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In computing, the tar file format is a type of archive file format: the *T*ape *AR*chive format. These files are produced by the ["Unix"] command tar and were standardized by POSIX.1-1998 and later POSIX.1-2001.

It is used widely to archive and unarchive files, which means to accumulate a large collection of files into a single archive file (packer), while preserving FileSystem information such as user and group permissions, dates, and ["directory"] structures.

Commonly a tar file is referred to as a tarball . Tarballs are ["source"] code, not binary ["image"] DebianPackage s. DebianPackage s can be downloaded and installed using ?AptGet .

In the Unix philosophy of "one job, one program", it does not support compression directly. If you then want to compress your archive, you use a separate program that is specialised in compression. tar is most commonly used in tandem with an external compression utility such as ["gzip"] or ["bzip2"], since it has no built in data compression facilities. These compression utilities generally only compress a single file, hence the pairing with tar, which can produce a single file from many files.

Filename extension

  • .tar , for tar file.
  • .tar.gz or .tgz (only when compressed by gzip)
  • .tar.bz2 or .tbz (only when compressed by bzip2)

MIME-Type

  • application/x-tar

Installation

After unpacking and uncompressing, the installation procedure is the standard GNU one:

$ ./configure

$ ["make"]

$ make install

See also:


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