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Linux / UNIX command to open .gz files

Q. I have download files from the Internet. Each file has .gz extension. How do I open .gz files under Linux?

A. You need to use gzip / gunzip program. It is a software application used for file compression. It is based on the DEFLATE algorithm, which is a combination of LZ77 and Huffman coding. DEFLATE was intended as a replacement for LZW and other patent-encumbered data compression algorithms

How do I extract a gz file?

Use guzip command as follows:
$ gunzip file.gz
$ gzip -d file.gz
To see new file, enter:
$ ls -l

How do I extract a tar.gz or .tgz file?

Files with extension tar.gz or .tgz are tar files compressed with gzip. On Unix system extract them with following command:
$ gunzip < file.tar.gz | tar xvf - $ gunzip < file.tgz | tar xvf -

If you have GNU tar (Linux system) you can use the z option directly:
$ tar xvzf file.tar.gz
$ tar xvzf file.tgz

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{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Carolanne October 15, 2007, 1:30 pm

    I can extract a .gz file using WinZip but how do I open a .gz file under Windows XP?

  • Balakrishna Bhat March 17, 2009, 3:22 pm

    I have some softwares downloaded from internet and few copied from Chip Magazine’s data dvds. I have dual-boot system[Windows xp home and ubuntu 8.10].I do not have much experience about computers and want to install few softwares which are in tar.gz formats and few are in tar.bz2 formats. I do not know how to install them-Only the deb or i386 formats are can be installed through Gdebi installer.Will you suggest me how to?

  • Luciano July 21, 2009, 12:39 pm

    Nice blog!!
    Keep it up!!

  • Balakrishna Bhat July 21, 2009, 1:20 pm

    Really nice one-exactly the one needed.

  • kamal September 19, 2010, 1:56 pm

    It’s giving me following error :

    root@server [/10gR2_db]# gzip -d 10201_database_linux_x86_64.cpio.gz

    gzip: 10201_database_linux_x86_64.cpio.gz: unexpected end of file
    root@server [/10gR2_db]

    • ahmadalza September 10, 2011, 1:29 pm

      #mv 10201_database_linux_x86_64.cpio.gz 10201_database_linux_x86_64_cpio.gz

  • sai November 30, 2011, 6:45 am

    thank you for the help. really appreciate it.

  • namrata June 29, 2012, 4:13 pm

    tar: error i not recoverable : existing now …
    this is the error m getting anyone have idea how do i resolve this

  • abnehmentipps August 10, 2012, 8:04 am

    That was useful. Just a note: too often the compressed file has the extension .tar (not in gzip format). Then just use tar xvf file.tar

    Many tx!

  • waleed November 10, 2012, 12:03 pm

    gunzip: configuration_files.tar.gz: unexpected end of file

    • srinadh October 2, 2013, 8:33 am

      this problem with the zip file,it must be corrupted during ftp

  • saeid January 23, 2013, 4:25 am

    Thank You Very Very Much
    Because Site & You

  • Priyanka April 6, 2013, 3:11 am

    if we need to gzip a folder and all the files inside the folder ,
    gzip -d works ?

  • Asif April 17, 2013, 6:09 am

    Is there any command in unix to extract .deflate files?

  • amin khalaj June 26, 2013, 6:59 am

    thank you. it was really helpful.

  • Anand October 10, 2013, 12:20 pm

    30-35% of my troubleshooting queries on google lands me here at cyberciti.biz and believe me 30-35% is a lot considering the whole www. You guys have done an excellent job creating these really helpful articles.
    Keep it up.

    • nixCraft October 10, 2013, 5:45 pm

      Thanks for the kind words. We appreciate your support :)

  • yoges May 30, 2014, 1:11 pm

    It work :) thanks ….

  • smith June 30, 2014, 12:21 pm

    Really Really very helpful

  • Egyptian June 1, 2015, 4:58 pm

    cyberciti.biz is an important resource for any one wants to learn Linux. I did learn lots from your posts. Thank you for the hard working and sharing the good knowledge.

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