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Compressing files and folders is a common task in Linux, and Ubuntu and Debian users can leverage the powerful
zip command for this purpose.
So, how to zip a folder in Ubuntu Linux or Debian Linux?
This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of zipping folders using both the Command Line Interface (CLI) and the Graphical User Interface (GUI) methods. Whether you’re a command-line aficionado seeking the precision of text-based interactions or a GUI enthusiast preferring a visual approach, this article has you covered.
By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to streamline your file management tasks, reduce storage space, and effortlessly share your data.
How to Zip a Folder in Ubuntu Linux / Debian Linux Using the CLI Method
Step 1: Install the
Before using the zip command, ensure that it is installed on your system. Open the terminal and type the following command to install both zip and unzip:
$ sudo apt install zip unzip
Step 2: Zip a Folder / Compress a Folder Using Zip Command
To compress a folder using the
zip command, use the following syntax:
$ zip -r give_zipped_file_a_name.zip folder_you_want_to_zip
$ zip -r archive.zip directory/
You can also
zip multiple folders. To do that, Run:
$ zip -r filename.zip folder1 folder2
Or specify the full paths:
$ zip -r filename.zip /path/to/folder1 /path/to/file2
For example, to create a compressed archive named
data.zip of the
data folder in the current directory, run:
$ zip -r data.zip data/
Once the directory is zipped, verify the creation of the
zip file by simply typing the ls command:
Alternatively, you can use the following command that confirms the
zip file creation with date and time details:
$ ls -l data.zip
Step 3: Password Protect the Zip File (Optional)
To encrypt the
zip file with a password, use the
$ zip -r -e data.zip data/
You will be prompted to enter and verify the password.
Step 4: Explore Additional Options
The zip command provides various options for customization. Here are some examples:
|-f||Only include changed files in the archive.|
|-u||Include changed or new files in the archive.|
|-d||Remove specified entries from the archive.|
|-m||Add files to the archive and delete the original files (move into zipfile).|
|-r||Add files to the archive and delete the original files (move into zip file).|
|-j||Do not record directory names during compression.|
|-0||Do not compress files, store them in the archive as-is.|
|-l||Convert LF to CR LF: Convert newline characters during compression.|
|-1||Use faster compression settings.|
|-9||Use maximum compression settings.|
|-q||Suppress normal output, print only errors.|
|-v||Print detailed information about the compression process.|
|-c||Include one-line comments in the archive.|
|-z||Include a comment for the entire archive.|
|-@||Read file or directory names from standard input.|
|-o||Set the archive’s modification time.|
|-x||Exclude the specified names or patterns from the archive.|
|-i||Include only the specified names or patterns in the archive.|
|-F||Attempt to fix a corrupted archive (-FF for a more aggressive fix).|
|-D||Exclude directory entries from the archive.|
|-A||Adjust the self-extracting archive.|
|-J||Remove a prefix added to the archive by self-extraction.|
|-T||Check the integrity of the archive.|
|-X||Exclude extra file attributes from the archive.|
|-y||Store symbolic links as the link instead of the referenced file.|
|-e||Password-protect the archive entries.|
|-n||Exclude files with specified suffixes from compression.|
|-h2||Display additional help information.|
These descriptions provide a clear overview of each
zip command option and its purpose.
Let’s implement some of the options mentioned above:
$ zip -r -u filename.zip folder # Update existing zip file $ zip -r -9 filename.zip folder # Use maximum compression $ zip -r -x '*.log' filename.zip folder # Exclude files with a specific extension
Let’s explore more options using the
$ man zip
man command in Linux is used to display the manual pages for a given command. Manual pages are documentation that provides information about the usage, options, and details of a command or program.
man zip command above will display detailed information about the
zip command, including its syntax, options, and usage examples. You can navigate through the manual page using the
arrow keys (nudge keys) and to exit the manual page, press the
man command is a valuable resource for learning more about various commands and understanding how to use them effectively in a Unix-like operating system, including Linux.
Compress a Directory in Ubuntu Linux
To compress an entire directory, use the following syntax:
$ zip -r compressed_data.zip /path/to/foldername
$ zip -r compressed_data.zip /home/user/Jan-2018
How to Zip a Folder in Ubuntu Linux / Debian Linux Using the GUI Method
For a more user-friendly approach, Ubuntu Linux provides a GUI method using the “Files” app (file manager). Follow these steps:
1. Open the “Files” app.
2. Navigate to the folder you want to compress.
3. Right-click on the folder and select “Compress…”
Password Protecting Zip Files (GUI)
1. Compress the folder using the GUI method.
2. After compression, select the newly created zip file.
3. Right-click and choose “Properties”.
4. Go to the “General” tab and click on “Set Password…”.
5. Enter and confirm the password.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully navigated the ins and outs of zipping folders in Ubuntu Linux and Debian Linux, unveiling the potent capabilities of the
zip command. Whether you find comfort in the command line’s precision or opt for the user-friendly graphical interface, you now wield the tools to streamline your file management tasks with finesse.
The flexibility provided by the
zip command allows you to choose your preferred method—be it the efficient CLI for quick and scripted operations or the intuitive GUI for a visual and interactive experience. These methods not only help you save storage space but also enhance your ability to share and organize your data seamlessly.
As you continue to explore the world of Linux, don’t hesitate to delve deeper into the
zip command’s official SourceForge page. Uncover additional options and features that may further enhance your file compression and management workflows.
In closing, armed with the knowledge gained from this guide, you are now well-equipped to take command of your files in Ubuntu Linux and Debian Linux. Embrace the efficiency, flexibility and power that compression brings to your Linux experience, making your journey through the world of open-source computing all the more enjoyable and productive. Happy zipping!