Howto: UNIX Zip Command

by on February 20, 2008 · 3 comments· LAST UPDATED April 16, 2010

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How do I create a zip file under UNIX operating system using a shell prompt?

UNIX operating system provides the following two commands:

  1. zip - Command to package and compress (archive) files.
  2. unzip - Command to list, test and extract compressed files in a ZIP archive.

Open a shell prompt and type the following commands.

Task: Create a Zip File

To create a zip file, enter:

zip filename.zip input1.txt input2.txt resume.doc pic1.jpg

To include the contents of a directory in a zip archive, enter:

zip -r backup.zip /data

Files created by zip can normally be decoded by programs such as WinZip and Zip7 under MS-Windows.

Task: Decompress a zip

To decompress a zip file in Unix, enter:

unzip filename
unzip filename.zip
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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Clower January 24, 2013 at 7:56 am

Wrong syntax (zip -r backup.zip /data) when zipping directories.
Should be zip -r backup.zip data (without slash).

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2 SamGoody February 12, 2014 at 11:42 am

Well, that depends if you want to zip the /data directory (ie, the data directory in the root of the computer), or the ./data directory (ie the data directory relative to where you are ATM). You could also have specified ~/data, and it would be the data directory in your /home/usr/ folder.

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3 Ras January 14, 2014 at 5:39 pm

To zip the current working directory “zip -r backup.zip .”

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