Automatic unzip/untar using correct toolΒΆ

Contributed by Martin Fitzpatrick, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

An alias for bash profile to automatically unzip/untar compressed files using the correct tool, without needing to know the syntax.

  • Add the following to your .bashrc or .profile file:

    extract () {

    if [ -f $1 ] ; then
    case $1 in

    *.tar.bz2) tar xjf $1 ;; *.tar.gz) tar xzf $1 ;; *.bz2) bunzip2 $1 ;; *.rar) rar x $1 ;; *.gz) gunzip $1 ;; *.tar) tar xf $1 ;; *.tbz2) tar xjf $1 ;; *.tgz) tar xzf $1 ;; *.zip) unzip $1 ;; *.Z) uncompress $1 ;; *) echo “’$1’ cannot be extracted via extract()” ;;

    esac

    else

    echo “’$1’ is not a valid file”

    fi }

  • From the prompt compress any file with extract <filename>

This method is based, with permission, on an original protocol available here.