How to Extract Tar XZ File from Command Line? A Comprehensive Guide


Working with compressed files is a common task in the world of command line interfaces. Tar xz files, a combination of the “tar” and “xz” compression formats, require specific commands for extraction. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of extracting tar xz files from the command line, ensuring you can effortlessly manage and access your archived content.

How to Extract Tar xz File from Command Line?

To extract tar xz files from the command line, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to the Directory: Open your terminal and use the cd command to navigate to the directory where the tar xz file is located.
  • Run the Extraction Command: Use the following command to extract the contents of the tar xz file:bashCopy codetar -xJf filename.tar.xz Replace “filename.tar.xz” with the actual name of the tar xz file you want to extract.
  • View Extracted Content: Once the extraction process is complete, you can use the ls command to view the extracted files and folders in the directory.

Understanding Tar xz Extraction

The process of extracting tar xz files involves a few key commands and concepts:

  • tar: This command is used to create, manipulate, and extract files and directories from tar archives. It’s often combined with compression algorithms like xz.
  • xz: Xz is a compression utility that creates and extracts files in the .xz format. It’s known for its high compression ratio and fast decompression speed.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When extracting tar xz files from the command line, keep these points in mind to avoid common mistakes:

  • Incorrect File Name: Make sure to provide the correct file name in the extraction command to prevent errors.
  • Missing Dependencies: Ensure that you have the necessary tools installed, including the “tar” and “xz” utilities.


Can I extract tar xz files in a specific directory?

Yes, you can specify the target directory by using the -C flag followed by the directory path in the extraction command.

What if I want to preserve file permissions during extraction?

To preserve file permissions, use the -p flag in the extraction command: tar -xJpf filename.tar.xz

How can I extract multiple tar xz files at once?

You can extract multiple files by providing their names separated by spaces in the extraction command.

Is there a graphical tool for extracting tar xz files?

Yes, graphical file managers like Nautilus and Dolphin often have built-in support for extracting tar xz files.

Can I extract only specific files from a tar xz archive?

Yes, you can specify the files you want to extract by providing their names as arguments in the extraction command.

What if I encounter an error during extraction?

Check your command syntax, file path, and ensure that you have the necessary permissions to access the file.

How to extract tar xz file from command line?

To extract a tar xz file from the command line, use the command tar -xJf filename.tar.xz.

How to untar tar xz in Linux?

In Linux, untar a tar xz file using the command tar -xJf filename.tar.xz.

How do I extract files from xz?

You can extract files from an xz archive using the command xz -d filename.xz.

How do I read a xz file in Linux?

To read an xz file in Linux, you can use the xzcat command: xzcat filename.xz.


Extracting tar xz files from the command line is a valuable skill for any Linux user or system administrator. With the steps outlined in this guide, you can confidently handle tar xz archives and access their contents seamlessly. Remember to double-check your file names, dependencies, and command syntax to ensure a smooth extraction process.

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