Compress an Entire Directory or a Single File

Run the following command to compress an entire directory or a single file on Linux. It’ll also compress every other directory inside a directory you specify–in other words, it works recursively.

tar -czvf name-of-archive.tar.gz /path/to/directory-or-file

Here’s what those switches actually mean:

-c: Create an archive.
-z: Compress the archive with gzip.
-v: Display progress in the terminal while creating the archive, also known as “verbose” mode. The v is always optional in these commands, but it’s helpful.
-f: Allows you to specify the filename of the archive.