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How to Unzip a .gz File on Linux

How to Unzip a .gz File on Linux

Compressed files are a common way to reduce the size of large files, making them easier to store and transfer. One popular compression format is the .gz format, which is commonly used on Linux systems. In this guide, we will explore how to unzip a .gz file on Linux, using various commands and techniques.

Prerequisites

Before we get started, make sure you have the following:

  • A Linux system (such as Ubuntu, CentOS, or Debian)
  • A .gz file that you want to unzip

Method 1: Using the gunzip Command

The easiest way to unzip a .gz file on Linux is to use the gunzip command. Here’s how:

  1. Open a terminal on your Linux system.
  2. Navigate to the directory where the .gz file is located. You can use the cd command to change directories.
  3. Run the following command to unzip the .gz file:
gunzip file.gz

This will create a new file in the same directory without the .gz extension.

Method 2: Using the gzip Command

If you prefer using the gzip command instead, you can still unzip a .gz file on Linux. Here’s how:

  1. Open a terminal on your Linux system.
  2. Navigate to the directory where the .gz file is located.
  3. Run the following command to unzip the .gz file:
gzip -d file.gz

This will also create a new file in the same directory without the .gz extension.

Method 3: Using the tar Command

If your .gz file is actually a tarball (a collection of files and directories), you can use the tar command to unzip it. Here’s how:

  1. Open a terminal on your Linux system.
  2. Navigate to the directory where the .gz file is located.
  3. Run the following command to unzip the .gz file:
tar -xzf file.gz

This will extract the contents of the .gz file into the current directory.

Similar Commands

Here are some similar commands that you might find useful:

  • zcat: This command is similar to gunzip, but it displays the uncompressed contents of a .gz file without actually unzipping it.
  • gzip: This command can be used to compress files or directories into the .gz format.
  • tar: This command can be used to create, list, and extract tarballs.

Script: Unzip Multiple .gz Files

If you have multiple .gz files that you want to unzip at once, you can use a simple script to automate the process. Here’s an example script:

#!/bin/bash

for file in *.gz
do
  gunzip "$file"
done

Save the script in a file (e.g., unzip.sh), make it executable using the chmod command, and then run it in the directory where your .gz files are located. This will unzip all the .gz files in that directory.

Summary

In this guide, we explored various methods to unzip a .gz file on Linux. We learned how to use the gunzip, gzip, and tar commands to unzip different types of .gz files. We also discovered some similar commands and saw an example script to unzip multiple .gz files at once. With these techniques, you can easily handle compressed files on your Linux system.

Useful Command Table

Command Description
gunzip file.gz Unzips a .gz file using the gunzip command.
gzip -d file.gz Unzips a .gz file using the gzip command.
tar -xzf file.gz Unzips a tarball (.gz file) using the tar command.
zcat file.gz Displays the contents of a .gz file without unzipping it.
gzip file Compresses a file or directory into the .gz format.
tar Creates, lists, and extracts tarballs.

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