How to Extract Specific Directory from Tarball

Tags: September 24, 2016 9:30 PM

Problem

We have huge file of gzipped tarball and we want to extract only specific directory from the tarball.

Solution

Make sure the pattern we want to extract by searching it first. As an example we want to extract directory named johndoe-website, but we did not know the full pattern of the directory.

$ tar tvf the-archive.tar.gz | grep johndoe-website
home/sites/clients/johndoe-website/javascripts/main.js
home/sites/clients/johndoe-website/styles/main.css
home/sites/clients/johndoe-website/index.html
From the output above we knew that the pattern of the directory is home/sites/clients/johndoe-website. Command below will extract johndoe-website from the archive and strip the 3 leading directories.
$ tar xvf the-archive.tar.gz --strip-components=3 -C /destination/path home/sites/clients/johndoe-website
Command above works in GNU Tar and BSD Tar (Mac OS X).

Reference

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