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Tar and Gz Documentation

What am I supposed to do with a file like foo.tar.gz?

    Typically you run the following commands in the same directory as the file:
        gzip -d foo.tar.gz
        tar xvf foo.tar

    The first command uncompresses the file. Before running the
    second command you may want to run the following to see what
    it is that you are unpacking:
        tar tvf foo.tar

    The "tar xvf..." command unpacks the file. If the file contained
    absolute paths, then the files may have been unpacked to various
    locations on you system. If the file contained relative paths,
    then the files will be in the current directory, and possibly
    in subdirectories.

What is gzip?

    GZip is an OpenSource compression/decompression program.

What is tar?

    Tar is the Unix "Tape ARchive" program. It is used for combining
    multiple files into a single file.

Where can I get these programs?

If you work in a Unix environment, you already have them.

For Microsoft OS users, you can get ports of these programs from various sources. Cygnus used to (and probably still does) distribute Win32 ports of nice Unix utilities, but they have been purchased by Red Hat, and their products are either non-existent today, or they are well hidden.

Here are Win32 ports of these files that probably came from Cygnus originally (I lost track):

tar.exe (53760 bytes)
gzip.exe (67584 bytes)
win32gnu.dll (104448 bytes)


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