gzip -- compress or expand files


gzip [ -acdfhlLnNrtvV19 ] [-S suffix] [ name ...  ]


gzip tries to reduce the size of the named files. Whenever possible, each file is replaced by one with the extension .gz, while keeping the same ownership modes, access and modification times. If no files are specified, or if a file name is "-", the standard input is compressed to the standard output. gzip will only attempt to compress regular files. In particular, it will ignore symbolic links.

When compressing, gzip uses the deflate algorithm specified in RFC1951 and stores the result in a file using the gzip file format specified in RFC1952.


-a, --ascii

does nothing on Linux systems.

-c, --stdout, --to-stdout

writes output on standard output; keeps original files unchanged. If there are several input files, the output consists of a sequence of independently compressed members. To obtain better compression, concatenate all input files before compressing them.

-d, --decompress, --uncompress


-f, --force

forces compression or decompression even if the file has multiple links or the corresponding file already exists, or if the compressed data is read from or written to a terminal. If the input data is not in a format recognized by gzip, and if the option --stdout is also given, copy the input data without change to the standard ouput: let gzip behave as cat. If -f is not given, and when not running in the background, gzip prompts to verify whether an existing file should be overwritten.

-l, --list

lists the compressed size, uncompressed size, ration and uncompressed name for each compressed file. Gives the uncompressed size as -1 for files not in gzip format. Additionally displays method, crc and timestamp for the uncompress file when used in combination with --verbose.

The compression methods currently supported are deflate, compress, lzh (SCO compress -H) and pack. The crc is given as ffffffff for a file not in gzip format.

With --name, the uncompressed name, date and time are those stored within the compress file, if present.

With --verbose, the size totals and compression ratio for all files is also displayed, unless some sizes are unknown. With --quiet, the title and totals lines are not displayed.

-L, --license

displays the gzip license and quit.

-n, --no-name

does not save the original file name and time stamp by default when compressing. (The original name is always saved if the name had to be truncated.) When decompressing, do not restore the original file name if present (remove only the gzip suffix from the compressed file name) and do not restore the original time stamp if present (copy it from the compressed file). This option is the default when decompressing.

-N, --name

always saves the original file name and time stamp when compressing; this is the default. When decompressing, restore the original file name and time stamp if present. This option is useful on systems which have a limit on file name length or when the time stamp has been lost after a file transfer.

-q, --quiet

suppresses all warnings.

-r, --recursive

travels the directory structure recursively. If any of the file names specified on the command line are directories, gzip will descend into the directory and compress all the files it finds there (or decompress them in the case of gunzip).

-S .suf, --sufix .suf

uses suffix .suf instead of .gz.

-t, --test

checks the compressed file integrity.

-v, --verbose

displays the name and percentage reduction for each file compressed or decompressed.

-V, --version

displays the version number and compilation options, then quits.

-#, --fast, --best

regulates the speed of compression using the specified digit #, where -1 or --fast indicates the fastest compression method (less compression) and -9 or --best indicates the slowest compression method (best compression). The default compression level is -6 (that is, biased towards high compression at expense of speed).