I've downloaded mongodb-linux-x86_64-2.6.3.tgz file using windows 7 and kept it on D:\Amra\Software\Developing Soft location.

When I right click this .tgz file using Ubuntu and see property it shows Location: /media/towhid/Amra/Software/Developing Soft. Now how will I unzip this .tgz file using tar command from terminal?


To extract a .tgz file with tar you need to use,

tar -xvzf /path/to/yourfile.tgz


  • x for extract
  • v for verbose
  • z for gnuzip
  • f for file, should come at last just before file name.

You can use the following command in a terminal to unzip the file in your case,

tar -xvzf /media/towhid/Amra/Software/Developing\ Soft/mongodb-linux-x86_64-2.6.3.tgz

Extract a .tgz file in different directory:

One can use -C option to extract archive contents to a different directory as following,

tar -xvzf /path/to/yourfile.tgz -C /path/where/to/extract/
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    It shows following error: tar (child): /media/towhid/Amra/Software/Developing: Cannot open: No such file or directory tar (child): Error is not recoverable: exiting now tar: Child returned status 2 tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now – Towhid Jul 19 '14 at 8:25
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    you just copy my command, there is a syntax error with white space in your command. – souravc Jul 19 '14 at 8:27
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    if a folder name is some folder, you need to access it from a terminal as some\ folder using escape character. – souravc Jul 19 '14 at 8:30
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    This is very clear answer where answerer give complete explanation in every option. And a plus given for the example. Very understandable. – Ade Malsasa Akbar Jul 19 '14 at 8:39
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    @KasunSiyambalapitiya you can change directory using -C option as tar -xvzf /path/to/myarchive.tgz -C /path/where/to/extract/ – souravc Nov 7 '16 at 12:56

Let's end the decades of hardly-memorable one-letter tar options. Use this to extract your .tgz file:

tar --extract --file /path/to/file.tgz

The explanation of used options was purposedly left out.

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  • Great add also the option to extract files contained in archive.tar.gz to a new directory named archive tar --extract --file /path/to/file.tgz --one-top-level. That's often the default of GUI file archive programs. – Paul Rougieux Apr 23 at 21:58
  • I would have upvoted this. Unfortunately, on my old Raspberry Pi at least, this didn't support the Tab autocompletion, and the filename was like 60 chars, whereas tar -xvzf filename did support Tab autocomplete, so I didn't have to type the whole filename. Therefore, I used the other answer instead. – Gabriel Staples Sep 19 at 21:57
  • @GabrielStaples Well that is strange. I don't have the chance to test it on the Raspberry but the tab completion for this command should definitely work on many linux distributions. – Jeyekomon Sep 21 at 8:06

Open the terminal and use the cd command to change directories to the directory where the mongodb-linux-x86_64-2.6.3.tgz file is located and the run the following command:

tar xzf mongodb-linux-x86_64-2.6.3.tgz   

The above command will extract the contents of the mongodb-linux-x86_64-2.6.3.tgz archive while preserving the archive's hierarchical tree directory structure.

A similar command extracts .tar.xz files. Open the terminal and the run the following command:

tar -xf /path/to/your/file.tar.xz


  • -x extract files from an archive
  • -f use archive file
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    The archive is both compressed (gzip - hence the "z" flag/option), and tar achived, hence the "x" extract option. So unzip won't work since it doesn't do tars. – pd12 Jan 24 '15 at 4:19
  • Would it not be tar -xzf... (with dash)? – No Time Jan 24 '15 at 4:23
  • xzf with a dash or without a dash, both are OK, and you can also add a v for verbose to the options (xzvf) to see the files being extracted during unpacking. – karel Jan 24 '15 at 4:44

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