Tape Archive file

In short

A long standing, ubiquitous way of storing files and folders.

item info
types Data (container)
preferred ✅ yes
extensions .tar
related formats JSON, SQL, XML, YAML
wikipedia Tar_(computing)


TAR is a container format, historically used to create tape archives from large directories, in order to remove it from the computer and store it away.

It is a transparent way to represent a directory and all of it contents, including subdirectories and their contents, in a single file.

By itself, it does not use compression nor encryption, although in practice its use is nearly always combined with (g)zip in order to economize on storage.

See also