Tar is console based software for packaging a set of files as a single archive in tar format. A tarfile may be made on a tape drive, however, it is also common to write a tarfile to a normal file.
The function it performs is conceptually similar to cpio, and to software like PKZIP in the DOS world. It is heavily used by the Debian package management system, and is useful for performing system backups and exchanging sets of files with others.
Initially, tar archives were used to store files conveniently on magnetic tape. The name “Tar” comes from this use; it stands for tape archiver. Despite the utility’s name, Tar can direct its output to available devices, files, or other programs (using pipes), it can even access remote devices or files (as archives).
- Store files in an archive.
- Extract files from an archive.
- Perform other types of archive manipulation.
- 8 different operating modes to perform a variety of tasks.
Developer: Thomas Bushnell BSG, François Pinard, Paul Eggert, and Sergey Poznyakoff
License: GNU GPL v3
tar is written in C. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials.
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