Linux commands: gzip

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A quick guide to the `gzip` command, used to compress a file

You can compress a file using the gzip compression protocol named LZ77 using the gzip command.

Here’s the simplest usage:

gzip filename

This will compress the file, and append a .gz extension to it. The original file is deleted. To prevent this, you can use the -c option and use output redirection to write the output to the filename.gz file:

gzip -c filename > filename.gz

The -c option specifies that output will go to the standard output stream, leaving the original file intact

Or you can use the -k option:

gzip -k filename

There are various levels of compression. The more the compression, the longer it will take to compress (and decompress). Levels range from 1 (fastest, worst compression) to 9 (slowest, better compression), and the default is 6.

You can choose a specific level with the -<NUMBER> option:

gzip -1 filename

You can compress multiple files by listing them:

gzip filename1 filename2

You can compress all the files in a directory, recursively, using the -r option:

gzip -r a_folder

The -v option prints the compression percentage information. Here’s an example of it being used along with the -k (keep) option:

gzip can also be used to decompress a file, using the -d option:

gzip -d filename.gz

The gzip command works on Linux, macOS, WSL, and anywhere you have a UNIX environment