Compressed UNIX tar archives (typically tar.gz or .tgz extensions) can be extracted in a single command. This is faster and works with less disk space.

To extract the compressed tar archive filename.tar.gz into the current working directory with:

gzip -dc filename.tar.gz | tar xf –  

If the file was compressed with bzip2 (i.e., .tar.bz2), you can substitute the bzip2 command for gzip.

If the archive was compressed with the UNIX compress command (archive ending in .Z) you can use:

zcat filename.tar.Z | tar xf –