How To Zip Tar File In Linux

Working with Linux often involves working with different file formats for various tasks like backups, archives, sharing, and compressing. One such file format is the .tar file (short for Tape Archive file). However, .tar files are not compressed, and that’s where zipping comes in. In this blog post, we will discuss how to zip a tar file in Linux.

Understanding .tar and .tar.gz files

Before we delve into the process, it’s important to understand what .tar and .tar.gz files are. A .tar file is a collection of files and directories wrapped into a single file. However, these files aren’t compressed.

On the other hand, .tar.gz files are .tar files that have been compressed using the gzip command. This reduces the file size, making it quicker to transfer and easier to manage. In other words, zipping a .tar file means creating a .tar.gz file.

Creating a .tar.gz file

To create a .tar.gz file, first you’ll create a .tar file and then compress it into a .tar.gz file. Here’s how you can do it:

$ tar -cvf archive_name.tar directory_name
$ gzip archive_name.tar

The first command creates a .tar file. The -c flag creates a new archive, the -v flag lists the files processed, and the -f flag uses archive file. The second command compresses the .tar file into a .tar.gz file.

Zipping a .tar file in one command

If you want to skip the two-step process, you can zip a .tar file in one command:

$ tar -czvf archive_name.tar.gz directory_name

The -z flag compresses the archive using gzip. Now, you’ve zipped a .tar file in one go!


That’s all there is to zipping tar files in Linux. It’s a simple process that can make handling files much more manageable. Remember, practice is key when it comes to mastering Linux commands.

Happy zipping!