Howto: UNIX Zip Command

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

🐧 Get the latest tutorials on Linux, Open Source & DevOps via RSS feed or Weekly email newsletter.

🐧 3 comments so far... add one


CategoryList of Unix and Linux commands
Disk space analyzersdf duf ncdu pydf
File Managementcat cp mkdir tree
FirewallAlpine Awall CentOS 8 OpenSUSE RHEL 8 Ubuntu 16.04 Ubuntu 18.04 Ubuntu 20.04
Modern utilitiesbat exa
Network UtilitiesNetHogs dig host ip nmap
OpenVPNCentOS 7 CentOS 8 Debian 10 Debian 8/9 Ubuntu 18.04 Ubuntu 20.04
Package Managerapk apt
Processes Managementbg chroot cron disown fg glances gtop jobs killall kill pidof pstree pwdx time vtop
Searchingag grep whereis which
User Informationgroups id lastcomm last lid/libuser-lid logname members users whoami who w
WireGuard VPNAlpine CentOS 8 Debian 10 Firewall Ubuntu 20.04
3 comments… add one
  • Clower Jan 24, 2013 @ 7:56

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

    • SamGoody Feb 12, 2014 @ 11:42

      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.

  • Ras Jan 14, 2014 @ 17:39

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Use HTML <pre>...</pre> for code samples. Still have questions? Post it on our forum