Compiling Source Packages

You will very often find materials distributed as gzipped tar archives.

Tar archives are collections of files and directories put together into a single archive file. The name derives from the words tape archive as the original purpose of the format was backing up data to tape. Gzip is an efficient compression program, so a gzipped tar archive is a compressed archive file containing a directory structure with files inside. See also Chapter 13.

Gzipped tar archives usually have names such as filename.tgz or filename.tar.gz. To extract all the files from this archive, copy it to an empty directory somewhere and use the tar command to unpack it, something like the following example:

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