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gunzip command in Linux with examples

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gunzip command is used to compress or expand a file or a list of files in Linux. It accepts all the files having extension as .gz, .z, _z, -gz, -z , .Z, .taz or.tgz and replace the compressed file with the original file by default. The files after uncompression retain its actual extension. Syntax:
gunzip [Option] [archive name/file name]
Example 1: The argument that is passed here is: geeksforgeeks.txt which is a compressed text file. Input: Output:
Example 2: The argument that is passed here is: geeksforgeeks.txt.gz which is a compressed file. Input: Output:
If a file is compressed using gzip command, a suffix i.e. .gz will be added to the file name after compression. Hence while uncompressing this file we can either use the original file name as shown in Example 1 or the filename with the suffix .gz as shown in Example 2 as an argument. Example 3: In order to uncompress multiple files using the gunzip command, we can pass multiple file names as an argument as shown in the below example: Syntax:
gunzip [file1] [file2] [file3]...
Input: Output:
geeksforgeeks.txt, gfg.txt
  • -c: This option is used to view the text within a compressed file without uncompressing it. The ASCII/EBCDIC conversion is automatically done if it is suitable. The compressed file has to be a text file only. Example:
    gunzip -c geeksforgeeks.txt.tar.gz
  • -f: To decompress a file forcefully. Example:
    gunzip -f geeksforgeeks.txt.tar.gz
    Output: The file will be forcefully extracted.
  • -k: This option can be used when we want to keep both the file i.e. the uncompressed and the original file after the uncompression. Example:
    gunzip -k geeksforgeeks.txt.tar.gz
    Output: An extracted file will be added to the directory.
  • -l: This option is used to get the information of a compressed or an uncompressed file. Example:
    gunzip -l geeksforgeeks.txt.tar.gz
  • -L: This option displays the software license and exit. Example: Output:
  • -r: This option is used to uncompress all the files within the folder and subfolder recursively. Syntax:
    gunzip -r [Directory/Folder path]
    Example: This will extract all the compressed files recursively within the path /home/sc.
  • -t: To test whether the file is valid or not. Syntax:
    gunzip -t [File name]
  • -v: This option is used to get verbose information such as the file name, decompression percentage, etc. Example:
    gunzip -v geeksforgeeks.txt.gz
  • -V: This option is used to display version number.
  • -a: This option uses ASCII text mode to convert End-of-line characters using local conversion. This option is only supported on MS-DOS systems. When -a option is used on a Unix system, it decompresses the file ignoring the –ascii option. Example:
  • -d: This option simply decompresses a file. Example: Output: The compressed file gets replaced by the original file i.e. geeksforgeeks.txt.
  • -h: This option displays the help information available and quits.
  • -n: This option does not save or restore the original name and time stamp while decompressing a file.
  • -N: This option saves or restore the original name and time stamp while decompression.
  • -q: This option suppresses all the warnings that arise during the execution of the command.
  • -s: This option use suffix SUF on compressed files.
  • -#: This option is used to control the speed and the amount of compression, where # can be any number between -1 to -9. -1 ensures the faster compression by decreasing the amount of compression while -9 ensures the best compression but takes more time comparatively.

Last Updated : 30 Sep, 2019
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