Mar 18

Command line zip, unzip, and tar

In maintaining linux systems I often find that I need to zip the contents of a folder or unzip some settings.  Zip is useful for compressing and transmitting files.  There isn’t anything new here and it is straight out of the man pages but since I only use it once every 6 months I’m going to summarize it here.

To zip a group of files in a directory, cd to that directory and with the command below you get stuff.zip in the same directory:

zip stuff *


If you want the hidden files in a directory add the . wildcard:

zip stuff .* *


That doesn’t get you any subdirectories to get that use:

zip -r stuff foo


That command will create a stuff.zip archive of the foo directory.

To unzip stuff.zip into the current directory and any subdirectories below it, creating subdirectories as necessary:

unzip stuff


unzip -tq stuff


Will test and print out if the Archive is OK.


Tar files like Newfile.tar.Z can gzip on creation or extraction. To unarchive a tar file use

tar -xvf Newfile.tar



tar -Zxvf Newfile.tar.Z  #Capitol Z is used for compress or
tar -zxvf Newfile.tar.zip  #for a gzip, gunzip file or
tar -jxvf Newfile.tar.bzip2  #for a bzip2 archive


where -z -Z -j or -a (auto-compress) will compress. -x = extract, -v = verbose, -t = file

tar -cf Newfile.tar foo bar


-c = create will create an archive of foo and bar files.  You can use * for the directory.

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