From MEPIS Documentation Wiki
Many programs and files that you download from the Internet come packaged as "tarballs". A tarball is an archive file similar to "zip" files in Windows world. The name comes from its original purpose, storing data in Magnetic Tapes (Tape ARchiver)and usually has the .tar extension. When it is compressed, it is .tar.gz (sometimes shortened to .tgz) or .tar.bz2. Extracting the files from the tarball is called "untaring". This page shows both the GUI and command line ways to untar a tarball, use whichever method is more convenient for you. Whichever method you use, you will then need to follow the installation directions in Installing software.
- In KDE right-click on the file and choose "extract" -> "extract here" (or "extract to").
- In console type:
tar xf filename.tar
or for verbose output (listing files) type:
tar xvf filename.tar
For compressed tarballs (and verbose output), type:
tar xvf filename.tar.gz
tar xvf filename.tar.bz2
To untar multiple files use this command:
for i in *.tar; do tar xvf $i; done
or for .bz2 files:
for i in *.bz2; do tar xvf $i; done
--See also Tar