I have a directory setup like the following:


I would like to create a tar file so that when it's extracted the structure will look something like this:


How could I get this to work by using tar? For reference, the current command that I'm using is:

tar -czf archive.tar.gz file.y file.z folder_x

I've never used the --transform option, but I gather it would do what you need:

tar -czf archive.tar.gz --transform 's,^,dir_q/,' file.y file.z folder_x

Realize the use of , instead of / as separator, so we can add a trailing slash.

  • Hmm, it doesn't seem to be doing it properly: file.z -> dirfile.z and dirfolder_x. I'll play around with the regex too see if I can get it the way I want it. – user49841 Jan 25 '11 at 19:40
  • 1
    Here's how I do it: tar -czf archive.tar.gz --transform 's,^,dir_q/,' file.y file.z folder_x Sed allows , instead of /, avoiding ambiguity when there are forward slashes in your expression. Normally I would say you can escape the slash with a backslash, but sed (at least, gnu sed) doesn't interpret it correctly. – jdb Jul 15 '14 at 21:33
  • tar --transform doesn't seem to work on MacOS – Alexander Mills May 15 '18 at 19:36
  • In MacOS you could install macports and gnutar to get the --transform option. Or download & compile gnutar yourself. – Marnix A. van Ammers May 16 '18 at 23:06

If you don't mind creating the new directory...

mkdir dir_q;tar -C $_ -xzvf archive.tar.gz

alternatively, make a new directory, untar the file to that directory, then re-tar it from the parent directory to include it's name in the extracted version. That way you do not have to remember some super long invocation.

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