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Extract contents of tar file



untar(tarfilename) extracts the archived contents of tarfilename into the current folder, preserving the attributes and timestamps of each file. untar can extract files from your local system or files from an Internet URL.

If a file exists with the same name and the file is not read-only, MATLAB® overwrites it. On Microsoft® Windows® platforms, MATLAB does not set the hidden, system, and archive attributes.


untar(tarfilename,outputfolder) extracts the archived contents of tarfilename into outputfolder. If outputfolder does not exist, MATLAB creates it.


filenames = untar(___) returns a cell array of character vectors containing the names of the extracted files. You can use this syntax with any of the input argument combinations in the previous syntaxes.


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Create a tar file, and then extract it to the folder backup.

Create a tar file of all the program files in the current folder.


Extract myfiles.tar.gz to the folder backup.

programFiles = untar('myfiles','backup')
programFiles = 1x3 cell
    {'backup/myfile1.m'}    {'backup/myfile2.m'}    {'backup/ExtractTarFileToNewFolderExample.mlx'}

Download and extract an archive file from a URL to a local folder.

Suppose you have the archive file example.tar.gz stored at the URL Download and extract the file to the example folder.

url = '';
gunzip(url, 'example');

Input Arguments

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Name of tar file to extract from, specified as a character vector or a string scalar. If tarfilename has no extension, MATLAB searches for tarfilename appended with .tgz, .tar.gz, or .tar. If you specify a .tgz or .gz extension, then untar extracts the specified file using gunzip.

You can specify tarfilename as an absolute path, or a path relative to the current folder.

If tarfilename is a URL, then tarfilename must include the protocol type (for example, http://). MATLAB downloads the URL to the temporary folder on your system, and then deletes the URL on cleanup.

Data Types: char | string

Target folder for the extracted files, specified as a character vector or a string scalar.

Data Types: char | string

Output Arguments

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Names of extracted files, returned as a cell array of character vectors. If outputfolder specifies a relative path, filenames contains the relative path. If outputfolder specifies an absolute path, filenames contains the absolute path.

Version History

Introduced before R2006a

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See Also

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