(1) cd to the directory you want to tar
(2) choose your output files and directory ... I used /tmp for this example
No compression (larger output file):
$ tar cvf /tmp/outputfile.tar .
Gzip compression (smaller output file):
$ tar zcvf /tmp/outputfile.tar.gz .
Bzip compression (still smaller output file usually, but slower typically):
$ tar jcvf /tmp/outputfile.tar.bz2 .
Extract the archives created above by replacing the "c" option with "x" (c = create, x = extract). Leave off the trailing "." from the create command. Files will be extracted to your current directory.