.TAR - File Extension for Tape Archive Files

Q

File extension TAR is used for tape archive files. A TAR sample file is provided. Free software for creating and opening TAR files are listed.

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A

File Extension: .TAR

MIME Type: application/x-tar

File Content: Archive files

What is TAR? TAR is a short name for Tape ARchive, a file format standardized as part of POSIX.1-1988.

Some technical notes on TAR file format:

  • TAR file format is used to store multiple files into a single archive file. Initially, TAR file format is designed for tape archive purposes.
  • TAR files are organized into blocks of bytes with a block size of 512 bytes.
  • Each file archived in a TAR file has a header block recording file name, file size, and other file attributes.
  • The last block of each archived file is padded with binary zeros, 0x00.
  • At the end of a TAR file, one extra block with binary zeros, 0x00, is added.
  • TAR file format does not support any compression.
  • TAR file format is commonly used together with the GZIP file format to archive and compress multiple files into a single file, with a file extension called ".tgz" or ".tar.gz".

TAR is the file extension for TAR files.

TAR files are binary files. Here are the first 64 bytes of a sample TAR file dumped in HEX values:

73 61 6d 70 6c 65 2f 73 61 6d 70 6c 65 2e 63 00 sample.sample.c.
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................
00 00 00 00 20 20 20 36 36 36 20 00 20 20 20 20 .......666......
20 30 20 00 20 20 20 20 20 30 20 00 20 20 20 20 .0.......0......

There seems to be no magic number in TAR files.

TAR sample file: Click sample.tar to download.

TAR files can be created and extracted by free archive software:

  • GNU Project - tar - Creates and extracts TAR files. An open source software.
  • 7-Zip - Extracts TAR files. An open source software.
  • WinRAR - Extracts TAR files. A shareware.

2012-07-01, 2725👍, 0💬