How can I extract or uncompress a file from tar ball downloaded from the Internet under Linux using Terminal ?

What is Tar Ball?  


You need to use the tar command to extract files from an archive or to create an archive (also known as tarball). A tarball or an archive is nothing but a single file that contains various individual files. It also includes information which allows your to restore files to their original form by one or more extraction programs such as tar command.

Extract or Unpack a TarBall File

To unpack or extract a tar file, type:

tar -xvf file.tar

To save disk space and bandwidth over the network all files are saved using compression program such as gzip or bzip2. To extract / unpack a .tar.gz (gzip) file, enter (note -z option):

tar -xzvf file.tar.gz

To extract / unpack a .tar.bz2 (bzip2) file, enter (note -j option):

tar -xjvf file.tar.bz2


  • -x : Extract a tar ball.
  • -v : Verbose output or show progress while extracting files.
  • -f : Specify an archive or a tarball filename.
  • -j : Decompress and extract the contents of the compressed archive created by bzip2 program (tar.bz2 extension).
  • -z : Decompress and exxtract the contents of the compressed archive created by gzip program (tar.gz extension). 

How Do I Extract A Single File Called foo.txt?

To extract a single file called foo.txt, enter:

tar -xvf file.tar foo.txt
tar -xzvf file.tar.gz foo.txt
tar -xjvf file.tar.bz2 foo.txt

You can also specify path such as etc/resolv.conf, enter:

tar -xvf file.tar etc/resolv.conf
tar -xzvf file.tar.gz etc/resolv.conf
tar -xjvf file.tar.bz2 etc/resolv.conf

How Do I Extract a Single Directory Called etc?

To extract a single directory called etc, enter:

tar -xvf file.tar etc
tar -xzvf file.tar.gz etc
tar -xjvf file.tar.bz2 etc 

Using UNetbootin Write the GNU/Linux Operationg System (.iso File) to ur pendrive for booting or Installing Linux in your PC

What is UnetBootin?

UNetbootin can create a bootable Live USB drive, or it can make a “frugal install” on your local hard disk if you don’t have a USB drive. It loads distributions either by downloading a ISO (CD image) files for you, or by using an ISO file you’ve already downloaded.


1) Select a Linux Distribution (2) Select a  specific Version (3) Make sure the correct USB Drive is detected and Click OK

Using UNetbootin - Fetch the files from the Net  


Or you can use Option Two…

Option Two – Diskimage: Browse to an ISO and have UNetbootin copy it’s contents to your USB.

(1) Browse to the ISO Image you would like UNetbootin to put on USB (2) Make sure the correct USB Drive is detected and Click OK  

UNetbootin DiskImage ISO Option 


Once the UNetbootin installer has completed, click Reboot Now

Set your system BIOS (To change BIOS press F2 or F11 according to ur System Requirement) or boot menu to boot from the USB device and enjoy your favorite Live Linux on USB.