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CLI for Noobies: A Primer on the Linux Command Line by Joe Barr

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Chapter 31. Making and Melting tarballs

This is important. We’re talking about tar, that sticky software that bonds files together into one big ball. It’s one of the most important programs you’ll learn to use from the Linux CLI.

Why? Because most free/open source software makes use of tar in distributing itself, that’s why. So unless you know—at a minimum—how to untar a tarball, you will remain cut off from a vital flow, nay, from the heartbeat of free/open source software.

That’s why tar is a necessary skill for you to learn. That, and the fact it’s required to earn your CLI merit-badge, grasshopper.

Introduction to tar

The name comes from Tape Archive. It’s no wonder it’s so widely used by the open source community, especially in the distribution ...

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