When I do the following:

tar czvf ../myarchive.tar.gz ./

I get a single (annoying) root folder in my tar archive:


How do I remove this awful period when creating the archive?

  • This Stack Overflow answer might help you.
    – n.st
    Jul 11, 2014 at 22:41
  • 4
    Or use --transform/--xform, as suggested by Magnus: tar -cf /path/to/output.tar -C /path/to/input-directory . --xform='s!^\./!!'
    – n.st
    Jul 11, 2014 at 22:46

3 Answers 3


The dot appears because tar creates the path structure the way you give in the arguments. So as you have given . as the source, the archive also is created in the same structure.

You can try this (note: this won't match hidden files):

tar -czvf ../myarchive.tar.gz *

Updating with information from the n.st's comment and zhoux's answer

tar --xform s:'^./':: -czvf ../myarchive.tar.gz ./
  • 5
    The * glob won't match hidden files.
    – n.st
    Jul 11, 2014 at 22:47
  • 1
    :D eh..just a beginer..didnt realize.
    – beginer
    Jul 11, 2014 at 22:49
  • You could use some more bash globs to include hidden files — have a look over here.
    – n.st
    Jul 11, 2014 at 22:52

You don't.

cd ..
tar czf "$name.tar.gz" "$name"

(Note: this doesn't work if your shell has current directory symbolic link tracking turned on and the current directory is accessed via a symbolic link.)

Yes, this isn't what you asked, but this is what you should do. Archives that expand a lot of files in the current directory are annoying: it puts the burden of creating a target directory for the file on each person who unpacks the archive, and if they accidentally unpack them in a non-empty directory, it's hard to clean up. Most of the time, an archive should create a single toplevel directory whose name is the base name of the archive.

  • Understood. If I recall correctly, it's just really annoying to have to do an extra step to untar an archive into a specific directory (eg tar xzvf archive.tar.gz && mv archive/* /output vs. unzip archive.zip -d /output) Jul 14, 2014 at 16:45

better add ^ before the preceding .

tar --xform s:'^./':: -czvf ../myarchive.tar.gz ./

OR, all "/" in the full pathname inside the archive will be removed unless "/" is the end of the full pathname.


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