How do I make an archive of many files or a directory?

The Tape Archive program (tar) is used to create a single file from many files. Tar files are not smaller (compressed) than the original files, they are the union of all files archived. To compress tar files, use gzip or compress after creation.

Assume the current directory is called alpha and contains the files: abc; def; ghi; and jkl
To make a tar file of abc and def called mytar.tar you would type the following: