Computer Tips - What is a "tar ball" ?

Date: 2007nov2
Updates: 2017oct28
Level: Beginner

Q.  What is a "tar ball" ?

A.  A "tar ball" is just an archive made with the tar program.
Tar is the usual Linux/Unix archive program -- like zip in the Windows world.

It would typically have suffix (extension) of:
.tar = tar file
.tar.gz = tar file compressed with gzip
.tgz = also a tar file compressed with gzip
.tar.bzip2 = tar file compressed with bzip2
.tar.xz = tar file compressed with xz

Create like this:

tar cfv MYTAR.tar MYDIR tar cfvz MYTAR.tar.gz MYDIR tar cfvz MYTAR.tgz MYDIR tar cfvj MYTAR.tar.bzip2 MYDIR
Extract/Unarchive like this:
tar xfv MYFILE.tar tar xfvz MYFILE.tar.gz tar xfvz MYFILE.tgz tar xfvj MYFILE.tar.bzip2