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I have a tar file with tar files in it. They are rather large so I was wondering if it is possible to extract a specific tar in the tar file directly.

Is that possible? How?

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If I understood it correctly that you want the contents of the "inner" tar file to be extracted, 1) use the O option to extract a given file to stdout, 2) use f - to read an archive from stdin:

tar -xOf outer_archive.tar inner_archive_1.tar | tar -tf -

tar -xOf outer_archive.tar inner_archive_1.tar | tar -xvf -
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If you have 7-Zip installed, either on Linux (or from from GNOME Software, for Debian distros) or on Windows in a dual-boot setup (7-Zip runs well under wine), you can explore a tar or other archive using a GUI, and decide what needs to be extracted.

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