22.214.171.124. Compressed files
Compressed files are useful because they take less space on your
hard disk. Another advantage is that it takes less bandwidth to
send a compressed file over your network. A lot of files, such as
the man pages, are stored in a compressed format on your system.
Yet unpacking these to get a little bit of information and then
having to compress them again is rather time-consuming. You don't
want to unpack a man page, for instance, read about an option to a
command and then compress the man page again. Most people will
probably forget to clean up after they found the information they
So we have tools that work on compressed files, by uncompressing
them only in memory. The actual compressed file stays on your disk
as it is. Most systems support zgrep,
zcat, bzless and such
to prevent unnecessary decompressing/compressing actions. See your
system's binary directory and the Info pages.
Chapter 9 for more on the actual
compressing of files and examples on making archives.