Packing and unpacking files

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Here are the most practical commands to pack and unpack files in a console:

Unpacking

unrar -kb x filename.rar
unzip filename.zip
bunzip2 filename.bz2
tar xvf filename.tar
tar xvzf filename.tar.gz

Packing

tar cvzf targetfile.tar.gz /sourcedir
tar cvf targetfile.tar /sourcedir

When using really large files, for example when you clone a computer it pays to use a program that can use all your processor threads in parallel. pigz is a good choice for that. To draw a backup from your harddisk:

cat /dev/sda | pigz -c >test

Unpacking can then be done with

pigz -d -c test >/dev/sdx

See also