What is tar --strip-components & zip --junk-paths with examples in Linux


How to use tar --strip-components and zip --junk-paths to remove absolute path from the archive. Tar is an archiving utility which needs no introduction to Linux users. In this article I will help you understand more about

  • tar --strip-components
  • zip --junk-paths

Both these options perform the same task i.e. stripping the relative path while extracting the archive.

 

Method 1: Use tar --strip-components to strip absolute path

Create tar archive

First let us create an archive. In this example I have created a nested directory structure under /tmp which we can check using tree command

# tree /tmp/dir1/
/tmp/dir1/
└── dir2
    └── dir3
        ├── file1
        ├── file2
        ├── file3
        ├── file4
        └── file5

2 directories, 5 files

I will create tar archive using GZIP compression and store it inside /root as myarchive.gz

# tar -czvf /root/myarchive.gz  /tmp/dir1/dir2/dir3

Snippet from my terminal

What is tar --strip-components & zip --junk-paths with examples in Linux
create tar archive with gzip compression

 

Extract archive without tar --strip-components

By default tar stores the absolute path of file. I will extract this archive content under /extract

# tar -xzvf /root/myarchive.gz -C /extract/

Snippet from my terminal

What is tar --strip-components & zip --junk-paths with examples in Linux
Extract without tar --strip-components

The archive extracts and stores the absolute path which may not be required in most cases

# tree /extract/

Snippet from my terminal

What is tar --strip-components & zip --junk-paths with examples in Linux
tree output

 

Extract archive with tar --strip-components

  • In this example, we will strip the absolute path while performing the tar extract
  • Provide a numerical value with --strip-components, this number represents the number pf paths you want to strip while performing the extract
  • In this example there are 4 directories which we want to strip from the output so we will use --strip-components=4
  • Here -C DIR means change to DIR before performing any operations
# tar -xzvf /root/myarchive.gz --strip-components=4 -C /extract

Snippet from my terminal

What is tar --strip-components & zip --junk-paths with examples in Linux
Extract with tar --strip-components

Verify the content. Now we don't have absolute path after extracting the archive.

# ls -l /extract/

Snippet from my terminal

What is tar --strip-components & zip --junk-paths with examples in Linux
List content

 

Method 2: Use zip --junk-paths to remove absolute path

We can perform similar operation with zip command in Linux and Unix

Create zip archive without --junk-paths

First let me create a zip archive using BZIP2 compression myarchive.bz2 under /root

# zip -Z bzip2 /root/myarchive.bz2 /tmp/dir1/dir2/dir3/*

Snippet from my terminal

What is tar --strip-components & zip --junk-paths with examples in Linux
Create BZIP2 archive without --junk-paths

By default, the archive here also store the absolute path of the file

 

Extract zip archive

We will extract this archive using unzip and store it inside /extract folder

# unzip /root/myarchive.bz2 -d /extract/

Snippet from my terminal

What is tar --strip-components & zip --junk-paths with examples in Linux
extract bzip2 archive

As expected, we have absolute path of the files under /extract

# tree /extract/

Snippet from my terminal

What is tar --strip-components & zip --junk-paths with examples in Linux
tree output

 

Create zip archive using --junk-paths

Now we will remove the absolute path of the file and just store the relative path by using zip with --junk-paths
Since we are creating zip archive with bzip2 compression, we have used -Z bzip2

# zip -Z bzip2 --junk-paths /root/myarchive.bz2 /tmp/dir1/dir2/dir3/*

Snippet from my terminal

What is tar --strip-components & zip --junk-paths with examples in Linux
create bzip2 archive with --junk-paths

From the output we can see that the absolute path is not stored any more with zip --junk-paths

 

Extract zip archive

We will extract this archive using unzip and keep the files under /extract

# unzip /root/myarchive.bz2 -d /extract/

Snippet from my terminal

What is tar --strip-components & zip --junk-paths with examples in Linux
extract archive

So we have no absolute path anymore for the files under our archive

# ls -l /extract/

Snippet from my terminal

What is tar --strip-components & zip --junk-paths with examples in Linux
list content

So you can use either zip with --junk-paths or tar with --strip-components to remove absolute path

 

Lastly I hope the steps from the article to understand tar --strip-components and zip --junk-paths on Linux and Unix was helpful. So, let me know your suggestions and feedback using the comment section.

 

References:
man page for tar
man page for zip

Views: 59

Deepak Prasad

He is the founder of GoLinuxCloud and brings over a decade of expertise in Linux, Python, Go, Laravel, DevOps, Kubernetes, Git, Shell scripting, OpenShift, AWS, Networking, and Security. With extensive experience, he excels in various domains, from development to DevOps, Networking, and Security, ensuring robust and efficient solutions for diverse projects. You can reach out to him on his LinkedIn profile or join on Facebook page.

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