Create a .tar file with different compression methods

The following commands will create .tar archives  and compress them using the different methods that are available. We provide multiple solutions, each one for a different type of .tar archive depending on the compression method that is desired.

For .tar archives

tar -c -f archive.tar $FILES_TO_ARCHIVE;

For .tar.bz2 archives

tar -c -j -f archive.tar.bz2 $FILES_TO_ARCHIVE;

For .tar.xz archives

tar -c -J -f archive.tar.xz $FILES_TO_ARCHIVE;

For .tar.gz and .tgz archives

tar -c -z -f archive.tar.gz $FILES_TO_ARCHIVE;

tar Parameters Legend

  • -z or --gzip instructs tar to filter the archive through gzip
  • -j or --bzip2 filters the archive through bzip2
  • -J or --xz filters the archive through xz
  • -f or --file=OUTPUT uses the archive file OUTPUT
  • -c or --create a new archive

Bonus Example: Create a tar.xz archive using the current date in the archive name

The following command will create an archive out of the folders Folder1 and Folder2 and then it will compress it to the .tar.xz format.
The filename of the archive will contain the current date in the format YYYY-MM-DD.

tar -c -J  -f archive.`date +%F`.tar.xz Folder1 Folder2;

The above command will result in something similar to:


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