Definition

tarball (tar archive)

Tarball is a jargon term for a tar archive - a group of files collected together as one. The term suggests a ball of tar, the sticky coal derivative used as an adherent and sealant in roofing and other construction work. Tar (for Tape ARchive) is a UNIX command that creates a single file called an archive from a number of specified files or extracts (separates) the files from such an archive. A tar archive has the file suffix .tar. The files in a tar archive are not compressed, just gathered together in one file. A popular archive handler for Windows systems, WinZip, can be used to extract the files from a tar archive. Stuffit Expander, an archive handler used for Macintosh systems, also extracts files from a tar archive.

This was last updated in September 2005

Dig Deeper on Linux licensing and support

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

"tar archive" is redundant. TAR = Tape ARchive, so saying "tar archive" is like saying "tape archive archive." The term "tarball" is playing off the fact that the filetype for a tape archive is tar.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchDataCenter

SearchServerVirtualization

SearchCloudComputing

SearchEnterpriseDesktop

Close