Quick! How do you extract an archive using the shell?
Most of the time, you just want to extract everything to a new directory and then explore.
Unless you’re crusty, remembering how involves a man page, a sigh, and a Google search.
Screw that. If you’re on Debian, just install unp.
unp is a Perl script that makes extraction just work. None of that alphabet soup nonsense from tar!
Install it like this:
iain@turing:~$ sudo apt-get install unp
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
bzip2 unrar unrar-free xdms p7zip p7zip-full cabextract orange
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 20 not upgraded.
Need to get 0 B/13.6 kB of archives.
After this operation, 102 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Selecting previously deselected package unp.
(Reading database ... 22070 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking unp (from .../archives/unp_2.0~pre4_all.deb) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ...
Setting up unp (2.0~pre4) ...
Use it like this to extract the neo4j archive you downloaded earlier:
root@turing:/home/iain# unp neo4j-community-1.9.1-unix.tar.gz
I’ve truncated the output here to just the first and last line because this particular archive contains several hundred files.
But it’s as simple as that!