Windows 10 Now Supports Tar and cURL

Starting with Windows 10 Build 17063, Windows 10 comes with a new bundled tools which are common in the world of Unix-like operating systems. The OS has native ports of two popular open-source tools bsdtar and curl. Here are some details.

What are tar and curl

These two tools are widely used in the Linux world. If you are not familiar with them, here is a brief description of these apps.

  • Tar: A command line tool that allows a user to extract files and create archives. Outside of PowerShell or the installation of third party software, there was no way to extract a file from cmd.exe. We’re correcting this behavior. The implementation we're shipping in Windows uses libarchive.
  • Curl: Another command line tool that allows for transferring of files to and from servers (so you can, say, now download a file from the internet).

They are available on all editions of Windows 10.

How to use tar and curl

Both tools can be started from a command prompt window. They support the traditional set of switches.

You can learn more about them by reading their help. Start tar --help and curl --help at the command prompt.

You can use the command tar -x to extract TAR archives, and the option tar -c to create them.

It is worth mentioning that PowerShell has a number of cmdlets that can replace or replicate curl functionality.

While it is a good change from any point of view, regular users of Windows 10 won't benefit from it. There are plenty of graphical archiver tools including 7-Zip, PeaZip, WinRAR, WinZip, etc. Many of them can create a TAR archive out-of-the-box. The ported tools are console utilities and require working with their command line arguments, so it is hard to imagine an average user using them. They are great for developers who work with different operating systems and cross-platform services and applications. For these developers who use Windows 10, this is a handy change.

So, modern versions of Windows 10 have tight integration with Linux. They already come with a full-featured Linux console, built-in SSH client and SSH Server, and now include tar and curl. The utilities should reach the stable branch in March 2018, with the next feature update "Redstone 4". You can read what's new in the upcoming update here:

What's new in Windows 10 Redstone 4

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

One thought on “Windows 10 Now Supports Tar and cURL”

  1. Hi Sergey, thanks for the heads up. I have not got linux subsystem enabled. Is that the reason I cant access the above commands?

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