Sarathlal N

Compress and decompress files using command line tools - Linux

In almost default Linux installation, there is no default tools to compress and decompress files. There is utility to archive files called tar, but it just archive the files without any compression.

So first we want to install zip and unzip tools to compress and decompress files.

apt-get install zip
apt-get install unzip


sudo apt-get install zip unzip

Compress files / Directory

zip your_folder *

There is no need to add .zip extension or suffix as it is added automatically by zip command. Then use the ls command to verify new zip file.


To compress an entire directory (including all subdirectories), use -r with zip command and it will recursively compress our files and folders.

zip -r your_folder *

Decompress files / Directory


To extract one file from compressed directory, we want to specify that file name with extension.

unzip  cv.doc

In the above example, I specified the name of the file (cv.doc) to be extracted in unzip command.

If we want to extract to a particular destination folder, then we need to specify the destination folder.

unzip -d /var/www/

Here I specified the destination folder ( /var/www ) with unzip command.

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