File Extension TGZ
File extension TGZ refers to a compressed archive file, and is most commonly used on UNIX based operating systems. The TGZ extension is a shortened version of File extension TAR.File extension GZ, and was originally used to overcome the three-letter, single file extension limit found on old MS-DOS operating systems.
TAR, which is derived from the term tape archive, is an archive format used on UNIX-based operating systems. Originally, TAR files, sometimes referred to as tarballs, were designed to be used with sequential backup systems such as tape, though are now widely used to archive files for backup on any media, or for distribution purposes. However, TAR files contain no compression, and so are usually used in conjunction with a compression algorithm such as GNU Zip, more commonly known as GZIP. Archiving a folder and then compressing it will therefore create a TAR.GZ file, which can be shortened to TGZ. These are in essence the equivalent to file formats such as ZIP on the Windows platform.
TGZ files are compressed archives, and as such can contain files of any type. The contents of a TGZ file can be seen using a compatible archive application or by running tar -ztvf on the archive file from a UNIX/Linux shell prompt. Though TGZ files are not self extracting executables, caution should be observed when opening compressed archives from unknown sources as they could contain malicious files such as viruses or spyware.
TGZ files can be opened using popular archiving utilities such as WinZip, WinRAR or Stuffit, the latter of which is available on both the Windows and Mac platform. Alternatively, TGZ files can be opened in UNIX or Linux based operating systems by first uncompressing the archive using gunzip, then extracting the contents of the archive using tar -xf which will restore the archives original file and folder structure.