ZIP is the most widely used archive file format and supports lossless data compression. ZIP file is a data container containing one or more compressed files or directories
In this article, I will show you how to use the unzip command to decompress files in the Linux system through the command line
Unzip command can help you list, test and extract compressed ZIP archives
By default, Unzip is not installed in most Linux distributions, but you can install it using the distribution’s package manager.
Install unzip on Ubuntu and Debian
$ sudo apt install unzip
Install unzip on CentOS and Fedora
$ sudo yum install unzip
How to decompress ZIP files
It is the simplest form to use it without any options. This
unzipcommand will extract all files from the specified ZIP archive to the current directory.
$ unzip filename.zip
In order to be able to extract the ZIP archive to the specified directory, the user needs to have write access to the directory
ZIP files do not support Linux ownership information, and all extracted files will be owned by the user who runs the command
For example, suppose you downloaded the WordPress installation ZIP file. To extract this file to the current directory, just run the following command:
$ unzip latest.zip
How to not display the information output of the unzip command
By default, the unzip command prints the names of all files it extracts and a summary when the extraction is complete
-qoption to disable printing of these messages.
$ unzip -q filename.zip
How to extract ZIP files to other directories
To unzip the ZIP file into a different directory, use this
$ unzip filename.zip -d /path/to/directory
For example, to unzip the WordPress archive
/var/www/directory, you would use the following command
$ sudo unzip latest.zip -d /var/www
In the above command we use
sudo because in most cases, the user we log in does not have
/var/wwwwrite permission to the directory. When using sudo to decompress the ZIP file, the extracted files and directories will be owned by the user root.
How to unzip a password-protected ZIP file
To decompress a password-protected file, use the
-Poption followed by the password.
$ unzip -P PasswOrd filename.zip
How to exclude files when extracting ZIP files
If you want to extract all but one file from the ZIP archive, use the
$ unzip filename.zip -x file-to-exclude
In the following example, we will extract
.gitall files and directories except directories from the ZIP archive
$ unzip filename.zip -x "*.git/*"
Use to overwrite existing files when decompressing
Suppose you have unzipped a ZIP file and you run the same command again
$ unzip latest.zip
By default, Unzip will ask you whether you want to overwrite the current file, overwrite all files, skip the extraction of the current file, skip the extraction of all files, or rename the current file
Archive: latest.zip replace wordpress/xmlrpc.php? [y]es, [n]o, [A]ll, [N]one, [r]ename:
If you want to overwrite an existing file without prompting, use the
$ unzip -o filename.zip
Please use this option with caution. The file will be overwritten, if you make any changes to the file, the changes will be lost
How to unzip ZIP files without overwriting existing files
Suppose you have unzipped a ZIP file, and you made changes to some files, but you accidentally deleted some files. You want to keep the changes and restore the deleted files from the ZIP archive.
In this case, you will use the
-nforced decompression option to skip the extraction of the existing files.
$ unzip -n filename.zip
How to decompress multiple ZIP files
If there are multiple ZIP files in the current working directory, you can decompress all files with only one command:
$ unzip '*.zip'
Note the surrounding single quotes
*.zip. If you forget to quote the parameter, the shell will expand the wildcard
How to list the contents of a Zip file
To list the contents of the ZIP file, use the
$ unzip -l filename.zip
In our example, we list all WordPress installation files by executing the following command:
$ unzip -l latest.zip
The output will look like this
Archive: latest.zip Length Date Time Name --------- ---------- ----- ---- 0 2018-08-02 22:39 wordpress/ 3065 2016-08-31 18:31 wordpress/xmlrpc.php 364 2015-12-19 12:20 wordpress/wp-blog-header.php 7415 2018-03-18 17:13 wordpress/readme.html ... ... 21323 2018-03-09 01:15 wordpress/wp-admin/themes.php 8353 2017-09-10 18:20 wordpress/wp-admin/options-reading.php 4620 2017-10-24 00:12 wordpress/wp-trackback.php 1889 2018-05-03 00:11 wordpress/wp-comments-post.php --------- ------- 27271400 1648 files
So far you have learned how to decompress ZIP files and the most common decompression options. If you have any questions, please leave a message in the comments below