node package manager


Tar Pack

Package and un-package modules of some sort (in tar/gz bundles). This is mostly useful for package managers. Note that it doesn't check for or touch package.json so it can be used even if that's not the way you store your package info.

Build Status Dependency Status NPM version


$ npm install tar-pack


pack(folder|packer, [options])

Pack the folder at folder into a gzipped tarball and return the tgz as a stream. Files ignored by .gitignore will not be in the package.

You can optionally pass a fstream.DirReader directly, instead of folder. For example, to create an npm package, do:

pack(require("fstream-npm")(folder), [options])


  • noProprietary (defaults to false) Set this to true to prevent any proprietary attributes being added to the tarball. These attributes are allowed by the spec, but may trip up some poorly written tarball parsers.
  • fromBase (defaults to false) Set this to true to make sure your tarballs root is the directory you pass in.
  • ignoreFiles (defaults to ['.gitignore']) These files can specify files to be excluded from the package using the syntax of .gitignore. This option is ignored if you parse a fstream.DirReader instead of a string for folder.
  • filter (defaults to entry => true) A function that takes an entry and returns true if it should be included in the package and false if it should not. Entryies are of the form {path, basename, dirname, type} where (type is "Directory" or "File"). This function is ignored if you parse a fstream.DirReader instead of a string for folder.


var write = require('fs').createWriteStream
var pack = require('tar-pack').pack
  .pipe(write(__dirname + '/package.tar.gz'))
  .on('error', function (err) {
  .on('close', function () {

unpack(folder, [options,] cb)

Return a stream that unpacks a tarball into a folder at folder. N.B. the output folder will be removed first if it already exists.

The callback is called with an optional error and, as its second argument, a string which is one of:

  • 'directory', indicating that the extracted package was a directory (either .tar.gz or .tar)
  • 'file', incating that the extracted package was just a single file (extracted to defaultName, see options)

Basic Options:

  • defaultName (defaults to index.js) If the package is a single file, rather than a tarball, it will be "extracted" to this file name, set to false to disable.

Advanced Options (you probably don't need any of these):

  • gid - (defaults to null) the gid to use when writing files
  • uid - (defaults to null) the uid to use when writing files
  • dmode - (defaults to 0777) The mode to use when creating directories
  • fmode - (defaults to 0666) The mode to use when creating files
  • unsafe - (defaults to false) (on non win32 OSes it overrides gid and uid with the current processes IDs)
  • strip - (defaults to 1) Number of path segments to strip from the root when extracting
  • keepFiles - (defaults to false) Set this to true to prevent target directory to be removed. Extracted files overwrite existing files.


var read = require('fs').createReadStream
var unpack = require('tar-pack').unpack
read(process.cwd() + '/package.tar.gz')
  .pipe(unpack(__dirname + '/package/', function (err) {
    if (err) console.error(err.stack)
    else console.log('done')