Seems like there are at least 3 approaches:
1. Call "tar" using one of the flavors of java.lang.Runtime.exec() . Note that this might not be portable. Joe Ess alluded how to get a "tar" that runs on windows
2. Find a tar library written in java and code against it. Here is something I found on Google search that alludes to such a library http://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=75343
3. Instear of tar, use jar for which java has built-in support. zip/unzip utilities are tiny in size in relation to the archives that you'll be making. This might be the path of least effort.
Which do you like best?
[ November 26, 2008: Message edited by: Sev Zaslavsky ]