tar archive.tar /users/mylocation would work, but it doesn't. How can I do that?
To extract an archive to a directory different from the current, use the
--directory, tar option, as in
tar -xf archive.tar -C /target/directory
Note that the target directory has to exist before running that command (it can be created by
Read the manual page (command:
man tar) for other options.
Note that if your tarball already contains a directory name you want to change, add the
tar xf archive.tar -C /target/directory --strip-components=1
Combining the previous answers and comments:
To simply extract the contents and create target directory if it is missing:
mkdir -p /target/directory && tar xf archive.tar -C /target/directory
To extract and also remove the root(first level) directory in the zip
mkdir -p /target/directory && tar xf archive.tar -C /target/directory --strip-components=1
Another option is to use --one-top-level. This will automatically create a directory based on the filename of the original.
tar zxvf filename.tgz --one-top-level
Additionally if you want, you can specify your own and tar will create it automatically.
tar zxvf filename.tgz --one-top-level=new_directory
What I found interesting in relation to extraction is, that it depends how you created the archive, see this example
cd /tmp mkdir folder touch folder/file.txt
when you do
tar -zcvf folder.tar.gz folder everything is as expected = when you untar it now it will be untarred (folder will be create, if you removed it) as
But, when you will create tar as
tar -zcvf tmp-folder.tar.gz /tmp/folder and you untar it in /tmp folder, the result will be
/tmp/tmp/folder directory ! In such case you have to untar it to / -
tar -xf tmp-folder.tar.gz -C /
With tar 1.29, we can just add the directory name after the tar filename. For instance,
tar zxvf tar-file directory-name/