Get free ebooK with 50 must do coding Question for Product Based Companies solved
Fill the details & get ebook over email
Thank You!
We have sent the Ebook on 50 Must Do Coding Questions for Product Based Companies Solved over your email. All the best!

gzip Command Linux

Last Updated on November 23, 2023 by Abhishek Sharma

In the realm of Linux file compression, the ‘gzip’ command stands as a powerful tool that enables users to compress and decompress files effortlessly. Short for "GNU zip," ‘gzip’ is a widely-used utility designed to reduce file sizes, thereby conserving disk space and expediting file transfers. Understanding the functionality and various options of ‘gzip’ empowers users to efficiently compress and decompress files from the command line.

This comprehensive guide aims to explore the versatile capabilities of the ‘gzip’ command, elucidating its usage, command syntax, and a range of practical examples. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced Linux user, delving into ‘gzip’ allows for proficient file compression and decompression, streamlining file management tasks.

What is gzip Command in Linux?

‘gzip’ is a command-line utility that compresses files using the DEFLATE compression algorithm. It replaces repeated strings within a file with references to a shared dictionary, effectively reducing the overall file size. The compressed files typically have a ‘.gz’ extension and can be decompressed back to their original form.

Basic Usage of gzip command in Linux

Below are basic usage of gzip command in Linux:
1. Compressing a File:
To compress a file using ‘gzip’, simply provide the filename as an argument:

gzip filename

This command compresses the ‘filename’ and generates a compressed file named ‘filename.gz’ while retaining the original file.

2. Decompressing a ‘.gz’ File:
To decompress a ‘.gz’ file back to its original form, use the ‘-d’ flag:

gzip -d filename.gz

This command decompresses the ‘filename.gz’ file and restores it to its original state, removing the ‘.gz’ extension.

3. Compress Multiple Files:
To compress multiple files simultaneously, you can specify multiple filenames as arguments:

gzip file1 file2 file3

This command compresses ‘file1’, ‘file2’, and ‘file3’ individually, creating corresponding ‘.gz’ compressed files for each.

4. Compressing a Directory Recursively:
To compress all files within a directory and its subdirectories, use the ‘-r’ flag (recursive) with ‘gzip’:

gzip -r directory_name

This command recursively compresses all files within ‘directory_name’ and its subdirectories, preserving the directory structure.

5. Piping Data into ‘gzip’:
You can use the ‘gzip’ command in conjunction with other commands by piping data into ‘gzip’ for compression:

cat filename | gzip > compressed_file.gz

This command uses ‘cat’ to read ‘filename’ and pipes the data to ‘gzip’ for compression. The compressed data is then redirected to ‘compressed_file.gz’.

6. Combining Compression with Tar:
To compress a directory into a single compressed file using ‘tar’ and ‘gzip’, creating a ‘.tar.gz’ or ‘.tgz’ file:

tar czvf archive.tar.gz directory_name

This command uses ‘tar’ to create a compressed archive (‘archive.tar.gz’) of ‘directory_name’, combining ‘tar’ for archiving and ‘gzip’ for compression.

7. Limiting Compression Level:
By default, ‘gzip’ uses the default compression level (usually 6). You can specify compression levels from 1 (fastest, less compression) to 9 (slowest, best compression) using the ‘-[1-9]’ flag:

gzip -9 filename    # Highest compression level
gzip -1 filename    # Lowest compression level (faster)

Using higher compression levels may result in smaller file sizes but could be slower in compression.

8. Displaying Compression Ratio:
To display the compression ratio after compressing a file, use the ‘-l’ flag:

gzip -l filename.gz

This command shows detailed information about the compressed ‘filename.gz’ file, including the original and compressed sizes and the compression ratio.

9. Retaining the Original File:
Using the ‘-k’ flag with ‘gzip’ keeps the original file after compression:

gzip -k filename

This command compresses ‘filename’ and retains the original uncompressed file without overwriting it.

10. Verbose Mode for Compression:
To display verbose output while compressing a file, use the ‘-v’ flag:

gzip -v filename

This command provides detailed information about the compression process, including the original and compressed file sizes.

The ‘gzip’ command serves as an invaluable asset for Linux users seeking efficient file compression and decompression capabilities. Its simplicity and effectiveness in reducing file sizes make it an essential tool for various file management tasks.

By exploring the functionalities and examples provided in this guide, users can harness the potential of ‘gzip’, enhancing their proficiency in compressing and decompressing files within the Linux environment. Mastering ‘gzip’ facilitates streamlined file storage, faster data transfers, and optimized disk space utilization.

This article provides an overview of the ‘gzip’ command in Linux, offering insights into its usage, command structure, and practical examples. Understanding ‘gzip’ empowers users to manage files more effectively, enabling them to compress and decompress files effortlessly in the Linux terminal.

FAQ Related to gzip command in Linux:

Here are some FAQs related to gzip command in Linux.

1. What is the ‘gzip’ command in Linux used for?
‘gzip’ is a command-line utility used to compress and decompress files in the Linux environment. It reduces the size of files by replacing repetitive data with references to a dictionary of common strings.

2. How do I compress a file using ‘gzip’?
To compress a file using ‘gzip’, simply use the following command syntax:

gzip filename

This command compresses the specified file ‘filename’ and adds a ‘.gz’ extension to the compressed file.

3. Can ‘gzip’ retain the original file when compressing?
Yes, by using the ‘-k’ or ‘–keep’ flag with ‘gzip’, the original file is retained after compression. For instance:

gzip -k filename

4. How do I decompress a ‘.gz’ file using ‘gzip’?
To decompress a ‘.gz’ file using ‘gzip’, use the following command:

gzip -d filename.gz

This command decompresses the ‘filename.gz’ file and restores it to its original form.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *