Explains the steps required to install Zip and Unzip for files and folders on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. It provides examples to zip and unzip a folder recursively.

Install And Use Zip Unzip For File and Folder On Ubuntu
Install And Use Zip Unzip For File and Folder On Ubuntu
October 02, 2019

Zip and Unzip are popularly used to compress or decompress a file or folder in zip format. We can use Zip to recursively compress all the files within a directory and use Unzip to decompress the files back to the original structure. This tutorial provides the steps required to install Zip/Unzip on the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu. It provides all the steps required to install and use Zip/Unzip on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. The steps should be similar for other Linux systems and Ubuntu versions.

Install Zip Unzip

Use the below-mentioned command to install both zip and unzip utilities on Ubuntu.

# Install Zip and Unzip
sudo apt install zip unzip

# Confirm installation
zip --version

# Output
Copyright (c) 1990-2008 Info-ZIP - Type 'zip "-L"' for software license.
This is Zip 3.0 (July 5th 2008), by Info-ZIP.
Currently maintained by E. Gordon. Please send bug reports to
the authors using the web page at www.info-zip.org; see README for details.

Latest sources and executables are at ftp://ftp.info-zip.org/pub/infozip,
as of above date; see http://www.info-zip.org/ for other sites.
....
....

This is the easiest step to install both zip and unzip utilities on Ubuntu.

Use Zip

We can use the zip command to compress archive files. Zip is popularly used as compression and file packaging utility on Ubuntu and Linux systems.

Compress File

We can compress a file using zip as shown below.

# Compress file using zip - Syntax
zip <destination file> <source file>

# Compress files using zip - Syntax
zip <destination file> <source file 1> <source file 1> <source file 1> ...

# Example
zip target.zip source.txt

# Verify
ls -l target.zip

# Output
-rw-r--r-- 1 bravo bravo 200 Oct 2 18:53 target.zip

We can compress a single file using the zip utility by providing the path of the source file and the destination file.

Compress Folder

We can recursively compress a folder and all its files using zip as shown below.

# Compress a file using zip - Syntax
zip -r <destination file> <source folder 1> <source folder 2> ...

# Example - Compress single directory
cd /data/repositories
zip -r repository1.zip repository1

# Output
adding: repository1/ (stored 0%)
adding: repository1/test1.txt (stored 0%)

# Example - Compress multiple directories
cd /data/repositories
zip -r repositories-1-4.zip repository1 repository2 repository3 repository4

# Output
adding: repository1/ (stored 0%)
adding: repository1/test1.txt (stored 0%)
adding: repository2/ (stored 0%)
adding: repository2/test2.txt (stored 0%)
adding: repository3/ (stored 0%)
adding: repository3/test3.txt (stored 0%)
adding: repository4/ (stored 0%)
adding: repository4/test4.txt (stored 0%)

# Verify
ls -l repository1.zip

ls -l repositories-1-4.zip

The above commands create the compressed archive using the zip utility either for a single directory or multiple directories. If we forget to add the option -r, the utility will compress only the directory without any file. You must specify the option -r to recursively compress the directories to generate the archive.

Compress with encryption

We can also generate the password-protected archives using the zip utility for both file and directory. It can be done using the command as shown below.

# Example - File
zip -e target.zip source.txt

# It will ask for password
Enter password:
Verify password:
adding: source.txt (stored 0%)

# Example - Folder
zip -r -e repository2.zip repository2

# It will ask for password
Enter password:
Verify password:
adding: repository2/ (stored 0%)
adding: repository2/test.txt (stored 0%)

This is how we can use zip to compress and file and folder using zip.

Use Unzip

We can use the unzip command to decompress archive files.

# Unzip - Syntax - Same directory
unzip <archive>

# Unzip - Syntax - Destination directory
unzip <archive> -d <destination>

# Example - Same directory
unzip target.zip

# Example - Destination directory
unzip target.zip source

Similarly, we can unzip the encrypted file as shown below.

# Unzip
unzip repository2.zip

# Output
Archive: repository2.zip
creating: repository2/
[repository2.zip] repository2/test.txt password:
extracting: repository2/test.txt

Summary

This is how we can use the zip and unzip utilities to compress and decompress the files and folders. We also saw how to use these utilities to compress and decompress encrypted files.

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