I want to avoid the creation of an archive because it takes a significant amount of time and CPU power, since i have to transfer a big folder among different filesystem i would like to have all the data in just 1 file.

  • I don't get it: You want to create an archive ("just 1 file") without creating an archive?
    – ohno
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 18:58
  • @ohno the archive is usually compressed, i don't care if the resulting file is big, i just do not want the data to be fragmented.
    – user827992
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 18:59

2 Answers 2


You need tar. Read the funny manpage:-) tar does not compress (unless you tell it to).

tar cf tarname.tar the_directory_you_want_to_archive/ will create one file: tarname.tar. You can extract with tar xf tarname.tar later.

If the files you wish to archive reside in different directories, simply add each one to the command line like so: tar cf tarname.tar dir1/file1 dir2/file2 dir3/file3. This will create an archive containing the files 'file1', 'file2' and 'file3'.

  • agreed but also I think Gzip desktop can do this with GUI if any one is intrested
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 19:49

In all of the ,buntus, I always install 7z file compression. It is freeware, and can handle RAR compression if you need it. Best of all, it is a Graphic User Interface program, so nO fAnCy CoMmaNd lInE fussiness and intolerance.

Both ZIP & 7Z file compression are recognized by most operating systems. TAR, etc tends to be just Unix-type operating systems. 7Z also compresses to smaller file sizes. The 'time' compressing is small, compared to the transfer-time to another computer or storage drive.

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