Extracting and Creating Archives via SSH: A Step-by-Step Guide

Working with archives is a common task when managing files on a server via SSH (Secure Shell). Whether you need to extract files from an archive or create a new archive, understanding how to perform these actions can streamline your workflow. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of extracting and creating archives using SSH.

Step 1: Connect to the Server

Begin by establishing an SSH connection to the server where the archive files are located or where you want to create new archives. Use your preferred SSH client or the terminal on your local machine to connect to the server.

Step 2: Navigate to the Target Directory

Once connected, navigate to the directory where the archive file is located or where you want to create a new archive. Use the “cd” command to change directories. For example, if the target directory is “/var/www/myfiles”, execute the following command:

cd /var/www/myfiles

Step 3: Extract Files from an Archive

To extract files from an archive, use the appropriate command based on the archive format. Here are some common examples:

  • Tar Archive (.tar):
  tar -xf archive.tar
  • Tar Gzipped Archive (.tar.gz or .tgz):
  tar -xzf archive.tar.gz
  • Zip Archive (.zip):
  unzip archive.zip

Replace “archive” with the actual name of the archive file. The commands will extract the files and directories contained within the archive into the current directory.

Step 4: Create a New Archive

To create a new archive, use the appropriate command based on the desired archive format. Here are some examples:

  • Tar Archive (.tar):
  tar -cf new-archive.tar files-to-archive
  • Tar Gzipped Archive (.tar.gz):
  tar -czf new-archive.tar.gz files-to-archive
  • Zip Archive (.zip):
  zip new-archive.zip files-to-archive

Replace “new-archive” with the desired name for the new archive file, and specify the files or directories you want to include in the archive. You can list multiple files and directories separated by spaces.

Step 5: Verify Extraction or Creation

After extracting files or creating a new archive, it’s a good practice to verify the results. Use the “ls” command to list the files and directories in the current directory. Ensure that the extracted files are present or that the new archive file has been created.


By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily extract files from archives or create new archives using SSH. Whether you’re working with tar, tar.gz, or zip files, understanding these commands will enhance your file management capabilities. Remember to navigate to the appropriate directory, execute the correct command for the archive format, and verify the results. With these skills, you can efficiently handle archives on your server through SSH.