TAR (Consolidated Unix File Archive)

The TAR Archive file format

The TAR file format was developed primarily within an UNIX environment with the intention to sustain tape backup procedures. Afterward, it has been used for the purpose of file archiving and for the collection of multiple files into a single file for distribution or storage. TAR also refers to the application that handles TAR files.

Technical details of TAR files

Basically, TAR is a collection of files merged into a single file which is not compressed by default. The TAR file can be compressed by various compression applications available like GZIP. The extension of TAR file is changed to TAR.GZ after being compressed in such a way. Files with the TAR extension comprise of file data and a file header rounded up to a multiple of 512 bytes.

More information about the TAR file format

File extension .tar
File category Archive
Example file Download example.tar file (354.50 KiB)
Associated programs Apple Archive Utility
Corel WinZip 18.5
Useful links Get detailed information on TAR file format here
Developer The GNU Project