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I want to unpack a .tar.gz file to a specific directory.

The archive file is in /root/Documents. I want to unzip it into /root/Desktop/folder. The folder structure in zipped file should be preserved in the destination directory.

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up vote 90 down vote accepted

You have two choices:

cd /root/Desktop/folder
tar zxf /root/Documents/file.tar.gz


tar zxf file.tar.gz -C /root/Desktop/folder
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thanks, how about gzip -dc archive.tar.gz | tar -xf - -C /destination ? – alwbtc Oct 19 '11 at 13:12
what -C stands for? – AlikElzin-kilaka Jan 28 '15 at 15:56
@AlikElzin-kilaka From man tar -C, --directory DIR change to directory DIR – tachomi Jan 28 '15 at 16:31
tar -xvjf foo.tar.bz2 for those who are looking for bz2 like me – vladkras Jan 26 at 7:09

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