Find files in tar archives and extract specific files from tar archives
Published: 17-10-2018 | Author: Remy van Elst | Text only version of this article
❗ This post is over two years old. It may no longer be up to date. Opinions may have changed.
This is a small tip, to find specific files in tar archives and how to extract those specific files from said archive. Usefull when you have a 2 GB large tar file with millions of small files, and you need just one.
Consider sponsoring me on Github. It means the world to me if you show your appreciation and you'll help pay the server costs.
You can also sponsor me by getting a Digital Ocean VPS. With this referral link you'll get $100 credit for 60 days.
Finding files in tar archives
Using the command line flags
-ft (long flags are
--file --list) we can list
the contents of an archive. Using
grep you can search that list for the
correct file. Example:
tar -ft large_file.tar.gz | grep "the-filename-you-want"
With a modern tar on modern linux you can omit the flags for compressed archives
and just pass a
.tar.bz2 file directly.
Extracting one file from a tar archive
When extracting a tar archive, you can specify the filename of the file you want (full path, use the command above to find it), as the second command line option. Example:
tar -xf large_file.tar.gz "full-path/to-the-file/in-the-archive/the-filename-you-want"
It might just take a long time, at least for my 2 GB file it took a while.
An alternative is to use "mc" (midnight commander), which can open archive files just a a local folder.Tags: archive , bash , grep , shell , snippets , tar