Example command:
$ tar -cvjf destination.tar.bz2 /path/to/folder/source

I'd like the final destination.tar.bz2, when extracted, to not include a /path/to/folder/ file directory. It seems inefficient to extract the tarball and then mv the contents of /path/to/folder/source to a different directory.


2 Answers 2


tar -C /path/to/folder -cvjf /path/for/acrhive.tar.bz2 source

-C (uppercase) means 'change directory', so your file specification becomes relative to the path provided with -C

  • Bear in mind that the path you provide for "source" is relative to the "-C". Like, that's what @thinice wrote, it's just that if you still provide an absolute path instead of relative even when using "-C", you don't get the desired result.
    – GuyPaddock
    Dec 7, 2016 at 21:52

There are many ways to accomplish that, but this is probably the simplest:

cd /path/to/folder
tar -cvjf /past/to/destination.tar.bz2 source
  • I'm partial to 'cd /path/to/folder && tar cjf /path/to/destination.tar.bz2 source' Nov 30, 2020 at 4:55

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