Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a pretty large(50Gb) tar.gz file that I can't untar anymore. Error that I am getting is this:

gzip: stdin: not in gzip format
tar: Child returned status 1
tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now

Is there any way to repair broken tar.gz?

UPDATE: Output of file command:

$ file projects.tgz 
projects.tgz: POSIX tar archive (GNU)
share|improve this question
Can you post the output of file filename.tar.gz? – Lekensteyn Feb 15 '11 at 17:46
Yep, see in the question update. Thanks! – Alex Feb 15 '11 at 17:53
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Your file is an uncompressed tarball. The extension .tgz is misleading, you might want to give the file a better extension, like .tar:

mv projects.tgz projects.tar

You've possibly tried to extract the file by running:

tar xzvf projects.tar

But the correct way to extract the tarball is:

tar xvf projects.tar

Options explained:

  • x: extract
  • z: GZip compressed (which is not the case in your file, so it should be removed for now)
  • f: file (required next argument to be the filename of the archive)
  • v: Be verbose (show file names while extracting).

See the manual page on tar for more information about this command.

share|improve this answer
You got uncompress and extract backwards. Swap them and that will make more sense. – psusi Feb 15 '11 at 19:10
Thanks, it should be more clear now. – Lekensteyn Feb 15 '11 at 20:16
thank you guys! – Alex Feb 15 '11 at 22:35

Rename projects.tgz to projects.tar. Then you will be able to untar the archive via Nautilus for instance.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.