gzip or bzip2">
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 Compressing and unpacking with gzip or bzip2

Data, including tarballs, can be compressed using zip tools. The gzip command will add the suffix .gz to the file name and remove the original file.

jimmy:~> ls -la | grep tar
-rw-rw-r-- 1 jimmy  jimmy    61440 Jun  6 14:08 images-without-dir.tar

jimmy:~> gzip images-without-dir.tar 

jimmy:~> ls -la images-without-dir.tar.gz 
-rw-rw-r-- 1 jimmy  jimmy    50562 Jun  6 14:08 images-without-dir.tar.gz

Uncompress gzipped files with the -d option.

bzip2 works in a similar way, but uses an improved compression algorithm, thus creating smaller files. See the bzip2 info pages for more.

Linux software packages are often distributed in a gzipped tarball. The sensible thing to do after unpacking that kind of archives is find the README and read it. It will generally contain guidelines to installing the package.

The GNU tar command is aware of gzipped files. Use the command

tar zxvf file.tar.gz

for unzipping and untarring .tar.gz or .tgz files. Use

tar jxvf file.tar.bz2

for unpacking tar archives that were compressed with bzip2.

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