How To Unzip Files In Linux Terminal

unzip files linux

Linux offers a variety of ways to extract files from archives, including zip archives. Compression is truly a lifesaver when you have to send multiple files over, but you want it to be a single one. It can also save you up to 50% of storage. In this article, I will explain different ways how you can extract archives on Linux systems.

How to extract zip archives

To extract zip archives, you can use the unzip utility. In case it is not shipped by default, you can install it using your package manager of choice, e.g. apt-get install unzip. Once it is available, you can use it like this:

> unzip

You can also specify the destination folder like this:

> unzip -d /extract/to/here

How to extract tar and tar.gz archives

These archives are a popular way to ship source code. To extract it, use the tar command, which is included by default with all Linux systems. It has quite a confusing interface, but you really just need to know 2 commands. To extract a .tar archive:

> tar xvf filename.tar

And for .tar.gz you can use:

> tar zxvf filename.tar.gz

How to extract xz and tar.xz archives

tar.xz is simular to tar.gz, but it is using the LZMA algorithm, the same one 7z is using. To work with .xz archives, you need to install the xz-utils package:

> apt-get install xz-utils

Now, to extract a .xz archive, run:

> unxz filename.xz

To extract a tar.xz file, use:

> tar xvf filename.tar.xz

How to extract 7z archives

7z is another open-source compression algorithm, offering higher compression ratio than zip. It is not shipped by default with Linux distributions, so you will have to install it manually:

> apt-get install p7zip-full

After it is installed, you can use it like this:

> 7z e filename.7z

How to extract rar archives

Unlike other compression methods, rar is proprietary and cannot be shipped by default. Firstly, you need to install the unrar utility:

> apt-get install unrar

To extract a .rar archive, use:

> unrar x filename.rar

You can also specify the folder to extract the content to:

> unrar x filename.rar ./extract/here

Closing notes

Thank you for reading, I hope now you will have no problem extracting archives on Linux systems.


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