Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In 7-zip file manager I created a tar file (with many subdirectories and files inside). I uploaded this file to the Debian server but can't extract:

tar -xvfz files.tar
gzip: stdin: not in gzip format
tar: Child returned status 1
tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now

I also tried tar -xvf userpics.tar but then happends just nothing.

Any ideas how to extract this file?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

It is a tar file, not a .tar.gz

-z is for gzip


tar xvf files.tar
share|improve this answer
I tried it but nothing happends. No error, nothing and the file stays as it is. – user1406271 May 23 '12 at 15:32
if you type "file files.tar" does it say it's a tar file? – mulaz May 23 '12 at 15:33
files.tar: data – user1406271 May 23 '12 at 15:35
It is not a .tar file then. Try installing p7zip on your server and extracting the file with it. If it was a tar file it should say: files.tar: POSIX tar archive (GNU) – mulaz May 23 '12 at 15:37
Strange. What is the reason it's not a tar file? I have done the same many times before (but uploading from a different computer) and it was working just fine. – user1406271 May 23 '12 at 15:39

tar xvf files.tar

as its not a gzip file, you dont need the z parameter

share|improve this answer

Chances are its not a tar file. Do sudo apt-get install p7zip instead.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.