There are quite a few commands on Linux for compressing files. One of the newest and most effective is xz, but they all have advantages for both saving disk space and preserving files for later use. In this post, we compare the compression commands and point out the significant differences.
The tar command is not specifically a compression command. It’s generally used to pull a number of files into a single file for easy transport to another system or to back the files up as a related group. It also provides compression as a feature, which makes a lot of sense, and the addition of the z compression option is available to make this happen.
Thanks to Sandra Henry-Stocker (see source)