Easily Unzip Files in Linux

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Easily Unzip Files in Linux

In this guide, you’ll learn to unzip files in almost any Linux distribution, and it’s a lot easier than you think. Most Linux distributions don’t have an app for unzipping .zip files, so we need to install one first. Let’s get started.


Install unzip on Ubuntu/Debian

Open your Terminal application, then enter the following code:

sudo apt install unzip

Install unzip on Fedora/CentOS

Open your Terminal application and enter the following code:

sudo yum install unzip

How to unzip a file

To unzip a file to the current directory (the same directory the zip file is in) use the following command in Terminal:

unzip myzipfile.zip

Unzip Options (switches)

There are many options/switches you can use with unzip. Here are a few of the most useful.

-d Switch

The -d switch gives you the option of extracting the zip archive to a different folder than the current one.

unzip myzipfile.zip -d /path/to/directory

If you’re unzipping to a directory that you don’t have permissions for, use the sudo command.

sudo unzip myzipfile.zip -d /var/www

-P Switch

If the zip archive is password protected, use the -P switch.

unzip -P MyPassword myzipfile.zip

-o Switch

If you need to overwrite existing files and do not wish to be prompted, use the -o switch.

unzip -o myzipfile.zip

-n Switch

If you’ve already unzipped a file and made some changes, and for some reason need to unzip the file again (maybe you deleted some files), you can use the -n switch which will skip any existing files.

unzip -n myzipfile.zip


If you want to see more switches, arguments and options for unzip, see the Linux unzip man page.

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