How to unpack a tar file in Windows
(Added an introduction, description of the tar command and a description of the 7-Zip GUI)
Revision as of 11:32, 8 September 2008
Source code is often packed for download as a TAR (Tape ARchive) file, that is a standard format in the Unix/Linux world. These files have a .tar extension; they can also be compressed, the extension is .tar.gz or .tar.bz2 in these cases. There are several ways to unpack these files.
If you have MinGW/MSYS or Cygwin installed, you can use the tar command to unpack such files:
tar xvf <.tar file> tar xzvf <.tar.gz file> tar xjvf <.tar.bz2 file>
See the tar man page for more information.
Another option is to install 7-Zip, which has a nice graphical user interface. 7-Zip can also be used to unpack many other formats and to create tar files (amongst others).
- Download and install 7-Zip from 7-zip.org. If you do not want to use 7-Zip as a command line tool, skip the next steps.
- Add the directory you installed 7-Zip into to your path (Start -> Control Panel -> System -> Advanced -> Environment Variables).
- Move the tar file to the directory you wish to unpack into (usually the tar file will put everything into a directory inside this directory).
- Open a command prompt, and cd to the directory.
- If the tar file is compressed, type 7z x filename.tar.gz at the command prompt (where filename.tar.gz is the name of the compressed tar file). This results in a tar file called filename.tar
- Type 7z x filename.tar at the command prompt (where filename.tar is the name of the tar file).
Instead of using 7-Zip on the command line, you can use the file manager and click on a .tar, .tar.gz, or.tar.bz2 file; 7-Zip will automatically start.