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Tar is a commonly made use of utility to obtain documents and making archives out of them. It was created to create archives to shop data on tapes, thus known as “Tape ARchive.” The utility was initial bundled in UNIX edition 7 in 1979 and now readily available on several platforms.

Tar is a notable Linux utility and comes with different capabilities this kind of as building archives, extracting them, extracting them to a distinct directory, adding more data files to the current archive, etcetera. But can I see the content of the Tar file especially although using the terminal? The remedy is Indeed! This multi-feature utility also permits viewing the content material of the archived information, specially when working on the server and no graphical software is offered. Viewing the tar file written content can also be pretty handy when the file is quite large, and you only want to come across a unique and extract it.

We have currently reviewed several capabilities of the Tar utility. This guideline focuses on a lesser-acknowledged characteristic of Tar utility and shows or listing the articles of the tar file. So, let us commence:

How to perspective the written content of a tar file
You require to perspective the articles of a tar file as it collects quite a few information and assures if a precise file is existing. The syntax of the command to look at the information of a tar file with no extracting it is talked about beneath:


$tar –record –file=[file_name.tar]


  • “-t”/ “–list”: Utilized to checklist the information of the tar file
  • “-f”/ “–file”: Commanding the utility to use the file mentioned in the following argument

In addition, you can use the “-v” flag or “–verbose” option to get thorough typical output. Let us realize it by an illustration:

With verbose flag:

$tar -tvf my_doc_file.tar

The extended command would be:

$tar –checklist –file=my_doc_file.tar


$tar –listing –verbose –file=my_doc_file.tar

In the higher than command, I am viewing the articles of a “my_doc_file.tar” file.

How to watch the material of tar.gz or tgz files
As it is recognized that a tar file does not compress the files, it only collects. To compress it, we will need one more utility. A usually used utility to compress tar information is “gzip.” The command to perspective the material of a “tar.gz” or “tgz” file is described below:

$tar -ztvf my_doc_file.tar.gz

The long command would be:

$tar –gzip –checklist –verbose –file=my_doc_file.tar.gz

Wherever “-z” and “–gzip” selections are applied to tackle the “tgz” or “tar.gz” files.

How to perspective the information of, tar.bz2,tbz, or tbz2 documents
The “tzip” is yet another utility for the compression of tar documents. To look at the articles of information with extension “”, “tar.bz2”, “tbz” or “tbz2”, follow the under-outlined command:

$tar -jtvf my_doc_file.tar.bz2

And the extended command would be:

$tar –bzip2 –checklist –verbose –file=my_doc_file.tar.bz2

The “-j” flag is utilized to manage “bzip” data files.

How to look at the material of tar.xz data files
The “tar.xz” information are the tar information that are compressed employing the “LZMA/LZMA2” algorithm. To perspective the content of information with “tar.xz” documents, use:

$tar -Jtvf my_doc_file.tar.xz


$tar –xz –listing –verbose –file=my_doc_file.tar.xz

The “-J” and “–xz” possibilities are used to take care of “tar.xz” data files.


Tar is a aspect-abundant Linux utility that makes it possible for viewing the content of various tar archive data files devoid of extracting it. With regards to the information of a tar file in the terminal can be helpful in lots of circumstances. In this information, we examine how to look at the articles of tar documents and compressed tar information in the terminal using distinctive flags and extensive commands. To get far more about Tar utility, run “man tar” in the terminal.

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