Task: List the contents of a tar file
Use the following command:
$ tar -tvf file.tar

Task: List the contents of a tar.gz file
Use the following command:
$ tar -ztvf file.tar.gz

Task: List the contents of a tar.bz2 file
Use the following command:
$ tar -jtvf file.tar.bz2

Where,

t: List the contents of an archive
v: Verbosely list files processed (display detailed information)
z: Filter the archive through gzip so that we can open compressed (decompress) .gz tar file
j: Filter archive through bzip2, use to decompress .bz2 files.
f filename: Use archive file called filename

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