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Why to concatenate into tarballs when compressing?

Link to this post 15 Sep 10

I couldn't find the exact reasons for concatenate files into a tarball while compressing. Could it be speed, redundancy or just for the sake of sequential I/O devices? I'd like to know if the other programs like zip, rar and 7zip do the same process silently. And what would be the consequences for compressing with gz and bz2 without concatenating, if it's possible.

Link to this post 17 Sep 10

If I am correct, "Concatenating" means group together as one. Perhaps this makes it easier to compress the files when they are in a single location, something like speeding up access time. Experiment and try to compress the files without concatenating. Make sure you pay close attention to the differences.

Link to this post 18 Sep 10

When you "concatenate" a set of files into a tarball, you get all the substructure when you expand the tarball at a later time, including symbolic links. This makes for a good archival copy of a file/directory set. Compressing the tarball just makes it more compact so it takes up less disc space than the original set until expanded and untarred.

Link to this post 18 Sep 10

woboyle wrote:

When you "concatenate" a set of files into a tarball, you get all the substructure when you expand the tarball at a later time, including symbolic links.

What are the other features of this substructure?

Link to this post 18 Sep 10

Yes, what are the contents of the substructure?

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