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How to Extract Members from an Archive

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In order to extract members from an archive, use the `--extract' (`-x') option. Specify the name of the archive with `--file=archive-name' (`-f archive-name'). To extract specific archive members, give their member names as arguments. It essential to give their exact member name, as printed by `--list' (`-t'). This will create a copy of the archive member, with a file name the same as its name in the archive.

Keeping the example of the two archives created at the beginning of this tutorial, `tar --extract --file=afiles.tar apple' would create a file `apple' in the current directory with the contents of the archive member `apple'. It would remove any file named `apple' already present in the directory, but it would not change the archive in any way.

Remember that specifying the exact member name is important. `tar --extract --file=bfiles.tar baloons' will fail, because there is no member named `baloons'. To extract the member named `./baloons' you would need to specify `tar --extract --file=bfiles.tar ./baloons'. To find the exact member names of the members of an archive, use `--list' (`-t').

FIXME: xref Listing Archives.

If you do not list any archive member names, then `--extract' (`-x') will extract all the members of the archive.

If you give the `--verbose' (`-v') option, then `--extract' (`-x') will print the names of the archive members as it extracts them.

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