GNU tar or simply Tar, is an open source and completely free command-line program specifically designed for GNU/Linux operating systems, providing users with the ability to create and extract tar archives, as well as various other types of archives. Tar is usually installed by default on many Linux kernel-based OSes.
Can be used to extract files from several archive formats
For example, GNU tar can be used to extract files from several archive formats, to store additional files in supported archives, to update or to list files that are already stored in a supported archive.
Tar is a GNU project and it's name stands for tape archiver, as tar archives were initially used to conveniently store files on magnetic tapes. These days, tar is installed by default in all Linux operating systems.
Offers attractive and powerful command-line options
Being a command-line software, GNU tar offers attractive and powerful command-line options, which can be viewed at a glance by running the ‘tar --help’ command in a terminal window. The options are well organized in sections, such as Main operation mode, Operation modifiers, Overwrite control, Select output stream, as well as Handling of file attributes.
Other sections include Handling of extended file attributes, Device selection and switching, Device blocking, Compression options, Local file selectio, File name transformations, File name matching options, Informative output, and Compatibility options.
Among the most interesting options offered by GNU tar, we can mention the ability to create new archives (--create), to extract files from an archive (--extract), as well as to delete files from an archive (--delete).
In addition, we can also mention the ability to list the contents of an archive (--list), to only append files newer than copy in archive (--update), to test the archive volume label and close the program (--test-label), and to append files to the end of an archive (--append).