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tar command create destination directory

coni Posts: 14
edited November 2017 in LFS201 Class Forum

Hi guys,

Today I had exam again it was alright but one question I can not find answers on the internet.

When I am extracting a tar file tar is supposed to create destination directory. I could now find any information about it.

Suppose I had a file like backup.tar.gz and I wanted to extract to /home/user/backup which does not exist. I won't be able to use mkdir command to create the directory.

I know if destination exists I can do like.

tar xcfj backup.tar.gz -C /home/user/backup 


Thank you.


  • luisviveropena
    luisviveropena Posts: 886
    edited November 2017

    Hi Coni,

    I don't think you can create a directory using tar (if you think so, then look into 'man tar'); you can "tar" and extract and entire directory, and that may extract any directory(ries) it has. But if you want to create a directory you need to do it using mkdir. You can use both commands in the same line, for sure.



  • coni
    coni Posts: 14


    That was what I knew but the question was saying that I had to create the directory by tar command. 

    By the way, I checked man page I could not find anything.

  • coop
    coop Posts: 835

    Sorry but we do not have access to exam questions so we really can't help.  There is a firewall between the courses and the certification team.

  • Hi Coni,

    I'm taking the exam this week and I have doubts about how it's going to be.

    Could you give me some tips?

    Most of my concerns are about the number of questions and how they are graded,  if you have the possibility to check everything before finish the test, if there's enough time to do it with calm or if it's better to go ahead and answer as fast as we can.

    Things like that...

    I hope you passed your exam!!

    Thanks Coni.



  • luisviveropena
    luisviveropena Posts: 886
    edited November 2017

    Yeah, I meant that; if you couldn't find anything about it in the man page, it means the tool can't make it happen, that's all.



  • I stumbled upon this post while i was searching for something else, and after 10 minutes of testing and reading "man tar", i have to say that it is possible.
    You have to use "--one-top-level[=DIR]"

  • Yeah, I did a testcase and this worked! The tar(1) man page is very clear:

    Extract all files into DIR, or, if used without argument, into a subdirectory named by the base name of the archive (minus standard compression suffixes recognizable by --auto-compress).



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