Quck tarball extract script in Bash for various distributions
Latest commit 5c3623e Sep 20, 2016 @lzap Updated README
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Dancepill - extract them all

Quick extract script for shell (currently only tested with BASH).

The problem

You want to extract a tarball or ZIP and you don't care what format it is to pick up the right tool. More than that, you are not sure about the correct extension as the file might have been renamed incorrectly. And you want to extract fast.

tar -xzjfmpb cant_remember_all_the_options.tar.ball.blah.gz

Someone might use Midnight Commander but this is slow due to zillion of IO terminal operations. Dancepill script to the rescue!


The script is currently not packaged for any Linux distribution, but it's a short BASH script:

cd ~/bin
git clone https://github.com/lzap/dancepill.git

And in your .bashrc do:

source ~/bin/dancepill/dancepill

Logout or source it in your current terminal and start extracting:

eeee tarball.tar.gz
eeee tarball.tar.bzip2
eeee tarball.xz
eeee tarball.zip
eeee whatever

There an function name called dancepill that does the extraction plus alias eeee for it. Dancepill also installs e alias, but only in case it was not yet used. If you still want to use this one, do this in your .bashrc:

alias e=dancepill


  • Extracts all supported archives using the fastest method possible.

  • File type detection using file utility - wrong extensions are simply ignored.

  • If the archive does not contain only one file or directory, dancepill will create an extra directory for you. No more extracted junk in the current directory!

  • If MIME is unknown, dancepill tries several "fallback" utilities one after another until one succeeds.

Supported formats

Format Supported in
7z 1.0
arj 1.0
bzip2 1.0
cpio 1.0
gzip 1.0
lha 1.0
rar 1.0
rpm 1.0
tar 1.0
xz 1.0
zip 1.0
iso 1.0


This is PUBLIC DOMAIN, do what you need to do. Pull requests appreciated!