Working with zcat, zmore and zless Command in Linux

Compression means to keep files together in an archive and to reduce the size of files. Gzip a.k.a. Gunzip is a command in Linux which is used to compress and decompress the files. So in case, you compressed a very large file with gzip and you just want to see what are the contents of the file. As in this case decompression of the file is going to take a lot of time, so in order to save time and view files without decompressing them “zcat” command is used.

Working with zcat command

1. To display contents of a Gzipped file.

$zcat filename.gz


This will print all the contents of the compressed file.

Note: In this case the, name of file is filename.gz.

2. To display contents of multiple compresssed files.

$zcat file1.gz file2.gz


It display contents of multiple files together.

Note: In this case the, name of file is file1.gz and file2.gz.

3. To read compressed data even from a terminal and even it is compressed or not.

$zcat -f filename.gz


This displays the content of the file even if the content is binary or is in an encrypted form.

Note: In this case the, name of file is filename.gz.

4. To paginate the output.

$zless filename.gz


$zmore filename.gz


These are the commands used for paginating the output.

Note: In this case the, name of file is filename.gz.

5. To get the properties of the compressed file.

$zcat -l filename.gz


This will display the properties of files like compressed and uncompressed ratio and uncompressed name etc.

Note: In this case the, name of file is filename.gz.

6. To suppress all warnings.

$zcat -q filename.gz


This will supress all the warnings that will occur in between the execution of the command.

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