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Usually you have not to use the -S option, unless you want to use a suffix different from .gz. Anyway, the way the gzipped archive has been created should not prevent file extraction, unless the archive is corrupted for some reason. Can you post what exactly you're trying to do (the exact command) and what does not work (any error messages)? Does the command tar -ztvf file.tar.gz give the correct list of files inside the archive?
From the code you sent, wouldn't at least one of those be .tar.gz and not just .tar?
No. Since the tar command does not have the ability to uncompress the archive (option -z as stated above) you have to uncompress it previously using the gunzip (or gzip -d) command. Once you have the uncompressed .tar file you can extract it.
Originally Posted by Branflakes
Also, what if I know the file name and need a wildcard extension? Would I have to do anything different?
Just use a different pattern in the grep command! For example, suppose you want to extract file.txt, file.dat and file.asc, just do